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OCTOBER 1997



  • Reserved-seat tickets went on sale Monday, Oct. 6 for the inaugural night running of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 1998. See our sponsor, Premiere for info
  • Three new images of the #23 Winston ‘No Bull’ Taurus courtesy of Country.Com on my Paint Schemes Page. I have recently added the #88 and #2 Taurus cars and the #35(10-7-97)
  • Two places I found where you can see images of some of the special paint jobs on the cars at Charlotte NASCAR Online’s Scrapbook and TNN’s Motorsports Page(10-2-97)


    (10-31-97)

  • Finally an official story: “Charlotte Motor Speedway has taken the first step, studying whether it would be possible to start a series for racing convertibles. Two-time defending Grand National series champion Randy LaJoie turned about 20 laps on Charlotte’s 1.5-mile, high-banked trioval in a Grand National car that had no roof. The car’s NASCAR-mandated steel-tubing roll cage was left intact, but LaJoie was clearly visible inside the driver’s compartment as he circled the track at about 170
    mph. Track officials might be interested in starting a series of support races for Charlotte’s Winston Cup events, but only if they could limit speeds of the convertibles to something in the range of 120-130 mph. Smaller engines than those used in Grand National cars would be a likely option”(SpeedNet)(10-31-97)
  • Good story at SpeedNet about Joe Nemechek: Brother’s death stays with Nemechek(SpeedNet)(10-31-97)
  • “Winston Cup fans long have adopted race teams as their rooting favorite. Next season, they’ll have the opportunity to put their money where their heart is. Owner Dick Bahre, with support from Arby’s restaurant chain, plans to launch the FansTeam, with comedian Jeff Foxworthy the first to climb on board. For a $195 membership fee, fans can become an official team sponsor, with perks to include their name on the No. 64 team’s hauler. The car will be unveiled Nov. 15 in Atlanta. No driver has been named. For information, call 1-888-TEAM-064.”(see the story at USA Today, Fans can have piece of racing team), makes me wonder what ever happened to Team Paradigm, who tried this in 1997, thanks Med(10-31-97)
  • Have heard from a few readers today that Jeff Purvis has been named to drive the James Finch owned #4 Lance Snacks Chevy in the BGN series in 1998(10-31-97)
  • Tony Bettenhausen and 1997 CART Indy-car rookie of the year Patrick
    Carpentier have parted company and one rumor has Robby Gordon going to that team(NandoNet)(10-31-97)
  • Gateway International Raceway will expand it’s seating by 10,000 to almost 60,000 seats in time for 1998 events which now include a truck race on 9/19/98 along with CART and BGN races. The track hopes to get a WC date in 1999 but needs to add another 20,000 seats to meet NASCAR’s minimum requirement for seats.(AP)(10-31-97)
  • The Craftsman Truck Series will also run at the new three quarter-mile oval Memphis Motorsports Park on 9/13 in 1998.(iRace)(10-31-97)
  • From the NASCAR fans Newsletter and Mike Irwin:

    I just received an e-mail from Jim Roach. Jim sent me an attached e-mail from a man named Rich Barnett. I am quoting Jim quoting Rich Barnett at this point (still with me ):

    “In Washington today, I attended the House Telecommunications Subcommittee Mark-up on H.R. 2369. Mr. Tauzin of Louisiana introduced an amended bill which replaces the original language almost in total. The amended bill was reported to the House Commerce Committee without further amendments and without objection. The amended bill only
    requires that scanner manufacturers eliminate cellular and PCS frequencies!”

    In other words, if the amended bill passes, it means that people who use scanners for NASCAR races will be able to continue to do so. The “fight” for this issue has been going on about six months. In his text, Rich Barnett suggests backing off from contacting Rep. Tauzin, so I pass that along as well. Mike thanks all the readers of the newsletter who sent along the same info(NASCAR Fans)(10-31-97)
  • “NASCAR owner Jack Roush believes the Winston Cup title might have been decided by hijinks in NASCAR’s offices.” from MSNBC page at Owner thinks NASCAR is giving title to Gordon, thanks Tom(MSNBC)(10-31-97)
  • “NASCAR ordered up plenty of wind tunnel time before the Craftsman Truck series went to its first two-mile track, California Truck Speedway, for the No FEAR Challenge last weekend. As a result of the various tests, the aero package for the trucks was altered significantly and, perhaps, permanently. First, the front valence ground clearance was raised from 3.5in. to 4.0in. and the kick-out increased from half and inch to one inch. The maximum width of the front at the fender flares was increased
    from 77in. to 80in., and teams can run an optional wicker bill in the leading edge of the front wheel well opening. Also, the rear spoiler was raised an inch from six to seven, with a 55-degree minimum angle. There was naught but praise for the revisions at Fontana, and they will likely become law.(MCI Racing News/NASCAR Fans)(10-31-97)


    (10-30-97)

  • Scanner fans, check out the article at Racefans/Frequency Fan Club Page: Government Wants to Ban Scanners, I was never a huge fan of scanners until I rented one at Talladega, the only way to listen to the race!(thanks to Mike Irwin/NASCAR Fans site for the heads up)(10-30-97)
  • One of my favorite writers, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene’s Deb Williams has an article posted on NASCAR Online Remembering Kulwicki — forever a champion, one of favorite drivers.(10-30-97)
  • Ledger-Enquirer Online writer Laura Kreuzer, has a good account of the Goodyear tire test at Atlanta in September, the story is at:
    L.E.O. Com go to the Burning Rubber story towards the bottom(10-30-97)
  • Sources tell me Hendrick Motorsports has decided not to add a fourth Cup team in 1998. Maybe (probably) in 1999 with Jack Sprague.(10-30-97)
  • I now hear David Green will only drive at Las Vegas in the Winston West race and not the Truck race(10-30-97)
  • “There will be an Australian running at the NASCAR Thunder Special at Suzuka. His name is Jim Richards and he’s one of Australia’s top drivers. He is driving for the Dick Midgley team in a Pontiac sponsored by Pyroil. Jim currently races in the AC Delco Cup series in Australia, which is likened to the USA’s Busch North/West series.
    (Thanks to Tim Noske of Australia for the note via NASCAR Fans Newsletter)(10-30-97)
  • “FINA Oil and Chemical Company announced its sponsorship of the 1998 FINA Transport Driver Championships. The series was created to spotlight the NASCAR Winston
    Cup transport drivers. A four-stop event schedule begins with Atlanta in March, followed by Fort Worth, Texas, in April, Talladega in October, and Phoenix in November of 1998. The Championships are open to any full-time Winston Cup transport driver and are designed to showcase the skill and talent of the drivers. Each competitor races against the clock while piloting a tractor-trailer through an obstacle course. Each driver is awarded points for their finishing position, which will be accumulated after each of the four events. The winner of each individual event will receive $1,000 in bonus money. The driver who has accumulated the most points after all four events will be crowned champion at the final NASCAR Winston Cup Series race in Atlanta and awarded $20,000 in championship awards money.”(Directly from NASCAR Online news)(10-30-97)
  • From Mike Mulhern at the JournalNow: Mr. Smith goes to NASCAR with ideas. About Roush Racing attorney and car owner Geoff Smith(10-30-97)
  • Bill Weber of ESPN has a good article on ESPNSportsZone about the WC title race and has many notes at: Fun In The Sun During Title Run(ESPN)(10-30-97)
  • NASCAR Online reports that Kenny Irwin, Jr(#27), Steve Park(#14) and Jack Sprague(#?) are entered for Sunday’s WC Dura-Lube 500 at Phoenix(10-30-97)


    (10-29-97)

  • Good story from CNNSI Teams concerned about Atlanta Motor Speedway by Ed Hinton(10-29-97)
  • From what I hear NASCAR will not use restrictor plates at Atlanta on Nov 16th. Part of the problem is the track surface is new and has a lot of grip and NASCAR expects things will change after the winter and the speeds will go down. On RPM2Nite NASCAR’s Mike Hilton said they have no plans on using restrictor plates at Atlanta(10-29-97)
  • Another surprise rumor: I hear that Valvoline will replace(actually return) Quaker State on all the Hendrick Cars next year. The oil change store division may be the Jack Sprague sponsor, unsure as to whether it is Truck or Cup.(10-29-97)
  • Randy LaJoie and BACE Motorsports ran around 10 laps in an old BACE Chevy with the roof cut off. LaJoie says it felt the same, which surprised him. He also did a few donuts at the the end of the test. The reason: Bruton Smith is considering running a convertible series as companion events to Winston Cup and wanted to see if it is feasible(RPM2Nite), MRN NASCAR Today reported that it was a concept car that Humpy Wheeler wanted to see in action(10-28-97)
  • I hear Terry Labonte is still in negotiations with several major potential sponsors for his BGN team. And since Bobby Labonte sold his #44 BGN team to Joe Gibbs for Tony Stewart to drive, Bobby is now anticipated to drive at least 15 races for Terry and Terry might drive in as few as 5. This could change depending on the sponsor demands but Bobby will be driving the #5 BGN car in at least 15 races.(10-29-97)
  • I hear the rumored Dale Earnhardt, Jr to the #3 BGN AC Delco ride will be announced at The SEMA convention(automotive after market parts) in Las Vegas next week(10-29-97)
  • As rumored here, 1993 NASCAR modified champ Rick Fuller (Jeff’s brother) has
    secured the Channellock sponsorship to run for Busch series rookie-of-the-year in 1998 with Chevys from Doug Taylor Motorsports (#40) and he will race Homestead next week. Rick’s older brother Jeff will go to trying to find a ride. If Jeff Fuller (now 21st)
    can move up one notch in the standings, its worth $30,000 in BGN point money.(10-29-97)
  • Story at NASCAR Online about the Taurus Mixed reviews for Taurus tests, too long to paraphrase here(10-29-97)
  • I hear that as of a meeting yesterday(10-28), John Andretti and Tony Furr are still waiting to see if Cale Yarborough land a sponsor, possibly another week. Another source says the 98 team is very close to signing a deal maybe with a
    collectibles company.(10-29-97)
  • Jack Sprague says in 10-29’s NASCAR Online chat “We’re going to run the truck series next year, and run five Cup races with an eye to getting tuned up and being ready to run Winston Cup in 1999.”(NASCAR Online), Quaker State was not mentioned in the transcript.(10-29-97)
  • Odd rumor: I’ve heard Gary DeHart to the #14 Pennzoil Chevy (no to odd, but…) OR perhaps with the #3 and Larry McReynolds getting the #14.(10-29-97)


    (10-28-97)

  • Kyle Petty made his 500th career start at Phoenix and had a special paint scheme on the car to commemorate it.(10-28-97)
  • Craftsman Truck crew chief/team manger Troy Selberg will be working overtime at Vegas. Troy is helping Southwest Tour Driver Craig Raudman during the Winston West race on the same weekend the Trucks are in Vegas.”I’m looking forward to working on a car after a whole year away from the Cup guys.” 20 Winston Cup team may show up in Vegas. Troy is still working with Driver Stacy Compton both are hoping to unveil a new
    sponsor for 1998.(10-28-97)
  • “Petty once again may be abandoning plans to try to hire John Andretti, according to sources close to the situation. Petty and Cale Yarborough, who has Andretti’s contract, have held several meetings lately to discuss the situation, with Yarborough insisting that he wants to keep Andretti.”(JournalNow)(10-28-97)
  • “Roger Penske and Michael Kranefuss are expected to make it official this week that Carl Haas, Kranefuss’ partner in the Jeremy Mayfield team, has sold his share of that team to Penske. ”We’re still going to run it as two separate teams, and just test together,” said Don Miller, manager and part-owner of the Penske-Rusty Wallace team. However, there are indications that shakeups could be coming in both camps. “(JournalNow)(10-28-97)
  • “Goodyear engineers are still searching for answers to the high-speed problems that Atlanta’s new asphalt has suddenly posed for the season finale, and more computer analysis runs are on tap this week. One option is for NASCAR to raise the rear spoiler to slow speeds. NASCAR officials, however, say they are very reluctant to mess with the rear spoiler; there have been a number of spoiler rules changes over the year, each one provoking reaction by either Ford or GM about a supposed edge giving the other brand. NASCAR officials have virtually ruled out restrictor plates, however. A plate with 1 1/4 -inch holes is most likely, if NASCAR decides on
    the plates.”(JournalNow)(10-28-97)
  • “NASCAR Officials say they have completed all templates for the new Taurus and have given them to Ford teams. According to NASCAR sources, Ford’s Bruce Cambern has decided not to make a major issue over some of the template questions that some of his teams have raised, and that apparently led to Preston Miller’s surprising decision to resign as Ford’s field engineer. However, a number of Ford teams are not happy with the template situation and plan to continue to fight for changes.”(in part JournalNow), it seems the Ford teams are not happy with the C-Pillar templates(10-28-97)
  • “Bruce Cambern future as head of Ford’s worldwide racing operations is shaky, according to Detroit sources. If Ford’s Bob Ruhey decides on a new racing boss, he could be named within the next six to 12 weeks.”(JournalNow)(10-28-97)
  • A few weeks back, Richard Petty bet Bobby Hamilton $100,000 that he wouldn’t win another race this year. Looks like Hamilton did pretty well for himself Monday(many sources)(10-28-97)
  • “Richard Petty continues to close in on signing John Andretti”(iRace)(10-28-97)
  • Some Notes: Ford has won 18 races this year, while Chevrolet has captured 11
    and Pontiac one…Dale Earnhardt has now gone 57 races without a victory, the longest winless streak of his career…Pole-sitters have had little luck this year, winning only four times in 30 races…Jeff Gordon needs to finish 13th or better in the final two races to lock up the Winston Cup point title, regardless of what Mark Martin does (Martin ranks second)…Gordon has three straight top-five finishes at Phoenix…The pole sitter has never won Phoenix in nine races and the winner has never started from the front row(WRAL Online)(10-28-97)
  • “The car Bobby Hamilton drove to the win 10/27 in the ACDELCO 400 was one that was built for use in Petty’s race-car driving schools. Hamilton drove the car at Dover and brought it to Rockingham for a test. It was faster on longer runs in the test, so the team decided to use it in the race.”(Charlotte Observer-David Poole)(10-28-97)
  • Rick Hendrick stopped by Hendrick Motorsports today and Ray Evernham said he looked good but is still having a tough time(RPM2Nite)(10-28-97)
  • I hear David Green will also participate in both Las Vegas races with his team on Nov 8th and 9th(10-28-97)
  • In the last six races, each make has had a car running in the top-three(iRace)(10-28-97)


    (10-27-97)

  • Ken Schrader plans on competing in both races being held at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Superspeedway during the Carquest Auto Parts 420K weekend presented by Las Vegas Events on Nov. 7-9. Schrader will drive a pick-up truck owned by the legendary A.J.
    Foyt in the Carquest 420K on Nov. 9, the season finale for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Schrader will also drive his own Skoal Bandit Chevrolet in the 300-kilometer NASCAR Winston West Series race on Nov. 8.(NASCAR Online)(10-27-97)
  • ARCA driver and champion Tim Steele and his family are reportedly negotiating to buy Bud Moore’s racing shop(#15 Ford) in Spartanburg, S.C., according to Ford sources. Steele has been one of the ARCA tour’s top drivers the past few years, and after his win at Talladega he said he was close to finishing a deal to move up to the Winston Cup tour.(JournalNow), not sure if this means the shop or the team or both(10-27-97)
  • An announcement is expected later this week in Phoenix that Penske Racing will hook up Michael Kranefuss, replacing Kranefuss partner Carl Haas(Times-Dispatch)(10-27-97)

  • The JournalNow reports that the Wood brothers racing team(#21 Citgo Ford) are in the running to hire Gary DeHart, the veteran crew chief who resigned two weeks ago as crew chief of Terry Labonte’s team. And Jack Roush confirmed that DeHart ”is on my
    short list” to join his stock-car empire.(JournalNow) DeHart also has been mentioned as a top candidate for next year’s Dale Earnhardt-owned car to be driven by Steve Park(#14)(Times-Dispatch)(10-27-97)
  • “In a surprising move, which comes during crucial negotiations between Ford and NASCAR over body templates for the 1998 Taurus, Preston Miller, Ford’s veteran field manager, has resigned. People who have talked with him about the situation pointed to the sensitive negotiations as playing a key role in his decision. Miller’s reasoning wasn’t quite clear to those who have talked with him. Several pointed to Miller’s disagreements with NASCAR over proposed body template changes for the Taurus; others, pointed to Miller’s disagreement with Bruce Cambern, Ford’s racing boss, over how to handle negotiations with NASCAR. Cambern, who is in his first year as head of Ford’s entire racing operation, has been criticized for not keeping in touch with Winston Cup teams. And there have been questions raised in the NASCAR garage throughout the summer about a possible change in command.”(in part form the JournalNow)(10-27-97)
  • Richmond International Raceway track superintendent Linwood Burrow has been released from St. Mary’s Hospital and is continuing treatment as an outpatient.(Times-Dispatch)(10-27-97)
  • WLBZ-TV in Bangor, Maine announced Saturday night that Andy Santerre will drive Ricky Craven’s BGN Chevy in 1998(10-27-97)
  • I hear the #88 Ford was tested at Atlanta last week with a restrictor plate engine(10-27-97)


    (10-26-97)

  • “NASCAR’s Mike Helton says he is considering ordering engine restrictor plates for the Nov. 16 race at Bruton Smith’s (Atlanta)track. ‘Maybe,’ says Helton of the plate option, certain to be a controversial move if NASCAR goes through with it.”, more testing at Atlanta this coming week(see the complete story at the JournalNow), “NASCAR spokesman Kevin Triplett said the sanctioning body has four options. It can mandate a carburetor restrictor plate to cut engine horsepower, as it does at Talladega and Daytona. NASCAR can manipulate the air dam and spoiler. It can manipulate the tires to slow the cars. And it can do nothing.”(The Depot)(10-26-97)
  • “Bill Elliott’s team, led by crew chief Mike Beam, won the annual pit crew competition yesterday. Beam and his boys got Elliott in and out in 20.870 seconds. Second was Terry Labonte with Randy Dorton as crew chief (20.909), and third was B. Labonte with crew chief Jimmy Makar (21.096). “(Times-Dispatch)(10-26-97)
  • I hear the Mytrle Beach Speedway ticket office says NASCAR has told them they will have a race date in 1998(10-26-97)
  • Butch Gilliland, who has tasted victory 4 times this season on the Winston West circuit, will attempt to run the Dura-Lube 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway, on November 2. Gilliland, who has put his car on the pole 3 times so far this year, has absolutely nothing to worry about this time out! NASCAR has provided one provisional starting spot for Winston West competitors. Gilliland, by virtue of being the NASCAR Winston West points leader, will have a guaranteed spot in the show, regardless of qualifying time.(Winston West)(10-26-97)


    (10-25-97)

  • A good story about Davey Allison at the The Birmingham News :Davey will be in racing’s Hall of Fame by Clyde Bolton(10-25-97)
  • “If crew chief Tony Furr bolts the car owned by Cale Yarborough to work as Ricky Craven’s chief, don’t be surprised if driver John Andretti also leaves — most probably for the No. 43 car owned by Richard Petty. Yarborough continues to search for a new sponsor now that RCA has confirmed it won’t be back next season.”(Skip Wood,Times-Dispatch Staff Writer)(10-25-97)
  • I hear BACE will test the roofless car on Tuesday(10-28) and hear Bruton Smith may want to start a convertible class. Roll bars will remain intact but roof will be removed from top of windshield to the deck lid. The main concern is losing the roof flaps. Other rumors include something to do with NASCAR’s 50th anniversary(10-25-97), it was true, see above story!
  • “Linwood Burrow,longtime track superintendent at Richmond International Raceway, has been diagnosed with an inoperable malignant tumor. Burrow is at St. Mary’s Hospital.”(Skip Wood,Times-Dispatch Staff Writer)(10-25-97)
  • “Assigned other duties in the Hendrick Motorsports organization after being forced to resign as crew chief for Terry Labonte several weeks ago, DeHart remains a much-respected director, and several sources have said he’ll wind up with young driver Steve Park next season. Asked yesterday about the possibility, Park smiled and turned his palms toward the sky.”(Skip Wood,Times-Dispatch Staff Writer)(10-25-97)
  • Thanks Skip for this answer as I have gotten many messages that Ernie asked for his dismissal yesterday: “Several drivers have expressed concern about the high speeds and overall condition of the track during recent test sessions at the re-configured Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ernie Irvan, for one, jokingly asked his soon-to-be former owner, Robert Yates, if it would be OK if he left the team before the Nov. 16 race. Irvan’s comments, or varying versions, spread quickly through the garage area yesterday here at North Carolina Motor Speedway. Perhaps because Irvan and next year’s No. 28 driver, Kenny Irwin, raced each other quite hard last weekend at a Truck race, the hot rumor yesterday had Irvan either quitting or being fired three races before the relationship officially ends. The Irvan camp quickly — and with amusement —discredited the rumor.”(Skip Wood,Times-Dispatch Staff Writer)(10-25-97)
  • And I hear from some readers that the Oct 25 Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a story: “ANGRY IRVAN TRADES JABS WITH IRWIN, YATES by Tom McCollister, Staff Writer
    Rockingham, NC – “It’s been an interesting few days for Robert Yates, who’s had to balance the bruised egos of departing veteran Ernie Irvan and incoming rookie Kenny Irwin. Things reached a boiling point Sunday on the final lap of the Craftsman Truck No Fear Challenge and ensuing cool-down lap at California Superspeedway. The two drivers raced hard, door to door, bouncing off each other with smoke visible from contact. They took the checkered flag with Irwin half a truck ahead. Words were exchanged. “I gave him room every time that he got in front of us,” Irwin said. “Every time I’d get my truck’s nose under him, he had to get out of it [and back off the gas]. Evidently, he didn’t like it.” Irvan’s only comment was, “I’m not real happy about Kenny Irwin.” Feelings escalated during testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway early this week when Irwin knocked off the week’s fastest lap of just over 193 mph.
    Irvan cut short his session and told Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Richard Sowers he was leaving, adding, according to others on hand, that the track was too fast and he would ask Yates to fire him at Atlanta so he wouldn’t have to race it. Yates viewed that as a tongue-in-cheek comment. “Ernie’s fine. He’s cool,” Yates said. Irvan had no comment.”(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) could not find story at their website, iRace also has some notes about the situation(10-25-97)
  • A good story and some other notes by David Poole at the Charlotte Observer in the story Irvan, Irwin make Yates walk thin line(10-25-97)
  • I hear Robby Gordon has been approached by a brand new Winston Cup team, based out of Charlotte, to drive for them next year. No idea who(Petree?, Washington-Erving?, Ozzie Smith/Harry Ranier?), I also hear if Gordon turns it down Tim Steele may get the ride(10-25-97)
  • Wayne Anderson will be/or has signed a three year deal to drive a Porter Cable Professional Power Tools sponsored truck for the Liberty Racing Teamand the #98 Ford. It appears that Raybestos will not be returning as a sponsor of the Liberty truck(10-25-97)
  • Matt tells me during the Speedvision qualifying, Joe Nemechek has a different paint job on his car, mainly black, with purple and blue stripes and 1-800-BELLSOUTH graphics. I hear from the Time-Dispatch that it is to launch a publicity campaign for a new service being offered by his sponsor, BellSouth and will be for the final three races of 1997 and NASCAR2Day said it was for 1998 also.(10-25-97)
  • Chances are looking good for Robert Pressley to continue to drive the #77 Jasper Engines Ford in 1998.(10-25-97)
  • Contrary to what was reported here before the #15 Bud Moore Ford team did not attempt to make Rockingham, so I guess it’ll be Atlanta(10-25-97)
  • Rockingham Notes: There are 31 pit stalls along the frontstretch; In 64 races at Rockingham, 41 races have been won by drivers starting 1-4 and 53 from the top 10; JD Gibbs, Joe Gibbs son failed to make the Rockingham BGN race(10-25-97)
  • Dick Trickle made his 250th career WC start at Rockingham(10-25-97)


    (10-24-97)

  • I hear that Wayne Auton, the Director of the Craftsman Truck Series, will move to the same position in the Busch Series, Grand National Division in 1998. No idea what current director Ray Hill will be doing or going(10-24-97)
  • Ok, this is a crazy one and not sure what to think, if i didn’t get it from a good source, I would have laughed it off and thrown it into the ‘bad rumors folder’: “BACE Motorsports at the request of Bruton Smith are testing a car on Wednesday at CMS with the roof cut off of it.” Huh, why?? We’ll find out soon enough(10-24-97)
  • “Michael Waltrip tested the 1998 Taurus Winston Cup car last week at Talladega Superspeedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Taurus is replacing the Thunderbird as the Ford production car represented in the Winston Cup series. “Until you actually put the car on the track, you’re not exactly sure what you got,” said car owner and co-crew chief Eddie Wood. “We set the car up similar to what we raced with here (in the DieHard 500 Oct. 12) and it was slower, but not too far from what we anticipated. We worked on aerodynamic issues most of the time and overall we learned a lot about what the car needs.” Driver Jimmy Spencer joined Waltrip and the Wood Brothers and turned some laps in the Taurus.”(SpeedNet)(10-24-97)
  • “Mike Skinner raced in the DieHard 500 with fractured ribs — and didn’t know it.
    “I knew they were real sore,” Skinner said. “But I didn’t find out that two were fractured and another one was separated from where it’s supposed to be until I went to the doctor on Monday (a day after the race).” Skinner fractured the ribs at Charlotte Motor Speedway Oct. 3 in qualifications for a Busch Grand National Series event.”(SpeedNet)(10-24-97)


    (10-23-97)

  • I hear Darrell Waltrip’s sponsor search is getting close to being resolved, no idea’s yet on who it is. I also hear Rich Bickle’s deal may be reduced to a limited ride in 1998 and then to a full time ride in 1999. DW will run a full schedule in 1998. Bickle would then run the truck series full-time for DW in 1998(10-23-97)
  • “Brewco Motorsports, Inc. announced Thursday Mark Green will continue to drive the No. 37 Brewco Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo in BGN in 1998. Timber Wolf brand moist snuff, a product of Swedish Match North America Inc., will remain as the primary sponsor of the Brewco Motorsports team. The team has announced it will compete full-time in the Truck Series with Scot Walters, 29, of Louisville, Ky., who will drive the #37 Chevrolet and will challenge for the 1998 Cintas Rookie of the Year Award. “(NASCAR Online)(10-23-97)
  • Action Performance Companies Inc. Wednesday announced that it has extended its licensing agreement with Hendrick Motorsports for the merchandising rights for its NASCAR racing teams and cars driven by Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven. For more see the story at Action Performance Extends Licensing Agreement with Hendrick Motorsports(10-23-97)
  • Loy Allen news: Allen took over for Randy Porter in the #48 Sammy Kershaw Motorsports BGN Ford and plans are for Allen to attempt the two remaining BGN races with the team, still no idea what Loy Allen will do in 1998(WC Scene)(10-23-97)
  • “WC owner Joe Gibbs son J.D. Gibbs, 28, will make his debut in the BGN Series Friday when he attempts to qualify for Saturday’s 200-mile event at Rockingham, NC. He’ll be driving his own car, a Pontiac with the No. 42 on the side and sponsored by
    Carolina Turkey.”(NASCAR Online)(10-23-97)


    (10-22-97)

  • Davey Allison, whose racing career was ended by a fatal helicopter crash in
    1993, was among six men chosen Wednesday to be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, AL. Allison will be inducted April 23, along with Roger Penske, Al Unser Sr., Rudolph Caracciola, Banjo Matthews and Tazio Nuvolari.(NandoNet), when I was in Talladega, I went to the Hall of Fame and it was huge and an excellent time.(10-22-97)
  • “NAPA Auto Parts has signed a multi-year agreement to sponsor Martinsville Speedway’s fall NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend beginning in 1998. The 1998 NAPA AutoCare 500 will be held Sunday, Sept. 27, and the NAPA 250 Craftsman Truck Series race will take place Saturday, Sept. 26. NAPA will be the title sponsor of both events through the year 2000.”(NASCAR Online)(10-22-97)
  • Testing continued at Atlanta with Jeff Gordon being fastest Wednesday at 191+. Others in order were #33, 29, 88, 81 and 00, yes Buckshot Jones tested at Atlanta and may attempt the WC race there on Nov 16th(RPM2Nite)(10-22-97)
  • Racing Champions Corp., a leading marketer of die cast racing vehicle replicas and other collectibles, announced today the addition of defending NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Terry Labonte to its 1998 spokesperson team.(Racing Champions)(10-22-97)
  • Stevie Reeves announced that Big-A Auto Parts will return as his sponsor on the #96 John Andretti owned BGN Ford in 1998(RPM2Nite)(10-22-97)
  • Off subject but interesting: Dave Sensiba was on a weekly radio show in Grand Rapids, Michigan on WBBL 1340 AM, West Michigan Race Reflections, on Monday night and mentioned that there would be a team car to his at Throop Motorsports for ASA in 1998 with maybe a son of a Winston Cup driver as the driver of the 2nd car. Then TNN said that it was going to be Adam Petty(son of Kyle)(ASA 33Fan’s Home Page)(10-22-97)
  • “Mike Stefanik Double Championships Make NASCAR History. Mike Stefanik has accomplished what no other driver has in the 50-year history of NASCAR. The 39-year-old Coventry, RI driver has won two NASCAR Championships in a single season. Stefanik took the 1997 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour championship driving the Burnham Boilers-sponsored Beal & Bacon Motorsports Chevrolet. The 1989 and 1991 Modified Tour champion clinched his third title at the five-eighth mile, high-banked Thompson International Speedway oval. Stefanik won top honors in the 1997 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series, North Division championship hunt driving the Burnham Boilers-sponsored H&H Motorsports Chevrolet. The Dodge Dealers NASCAR 200 at Lime Rock Park (CT), was presented by his sponsor at the famed 1.53 mile Connecticut road course.”(Speedworld)(10-22-97)


    (10-21-97)

  • “Richard Petty continues to get closer to signing John Andretti as his driver for next season. Sources close to the situation say something must be determined by the middle of next week”(iRace)(10-21-97)
  • “As it now stands, Steve Hmiel will serve as Johnny Benson’s crew chief next
    season in the revamped Jack Roush organization, but the plan is subject to
    change almost weekly”(iRace)(10-21-97)
  • “Car owner Larry Hedrick is in danger of losing crew chief Charley Pressley, and still hasn’t re-signed driver Steve Grissom”(iRace)(10-21-97)
  • “Roush Racing announced today that PRIMESTAR Partners will be returning as the primary sponsor on the No. 16 Ford Taurus, driven by Ted Musgrave, in 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition. Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.”(NASCAR Online)(10-21-97)
  • The TNN website has a good story about the Taurus, SB2 Engine and Unleaded Fuel along with a picture of the #21 Citgo Taurus at ’98 On Track Testing Starts(TNN-www.country.com)(10-21-97)
  • “In testing at North Carolina Motor Speedway(Rockingham) last week, Dale
    Jarrett’s Ford had the fastest lap time, but Bobby Hamilton’s Pontiac was
    fastest over the long haul”(iRace)(10-21-97)
  • BGN News: ARCA Driver Perry Tripp will drive the #7 Ed Whittiker owned Chevy at Rockingham: Dale Earnhardt Jr will drive the #31 Chevy with Wranger as a sponsor at Rockingham(Wranger was Dale, Sr’s old Sponsor): Kevein LePage, Mike Wallace and Greg Sacks are in the running to drive the #4 James Finch owned Lance’s Snacks Chevy in 1998, Jeff Purvis could return if no sponsor is found so he and #12(#28 in BGN) owner Larry Lockaby caqn run Winston Cup: Mike Laughlin wants to keep Jeff Fuller in the #45 Chevy for 1998 but needs a sponsor, he also plans to run son Mike in 5 events with Hunter Specialities: Matt Kenseth plans on staying in the Robby Reiser owned #17 Chevy in 1998 depending on if they find a sponsor(RPM2Nite)(10-21-97)
  • During testing at Atlanta on 10-21, Kenny Irwin, Jr was fastest in one of Dale Jarretts Ford T-Birds at 193.711mph. Irwin will of course run the #27 Ford there and the remaining 1997 schedule in WC. The rest of the top 10: #33, 88, 24, 3, 31, 30, 14, 36 and 4.(RPM2Nite)(10-21-97)
  • Jimmy Spencer hired Blaise Alexander to drive his #20 BGN Chevy at Rockingham and may hire him for 1998 full-time, Spencer plans to run 10 BGN races and Zippo will be back as his sponsor(RPM2Nite), I hear Sunoco will be Alexanders sponsor(10-17&21-97)


    (10-20-97)

  • Sparky from iRace is hearing Randy LaJoie’s name linked to the driving vacancy at Petty Enterprises in the #43 Pontiac(10-20-97)
  • Lake Speed tested a Ford Taurus at Daytona on 10-20. Monday’s test with the Taurus at Daytona was a closed test(NASCAR Online), but I am told the speeds were in the 186mph range(10-20-97)
  • As reported here weeks ago Greg Sacks will run the #40 Coors Chevy for the rest of 1997(RPM2Nite)(10-20-97)
  • Check this RUMOR from the chasinracin message board, which is as reliable as a chat room: “Moyer has signed a 5 year deal with a Winston Cup team, details are sketchy, but it looks like Richard Petty will add Moyer to his team”, the writer, only known as Sleepy, means Hav-A-Tampa champion Billy Moyer. Jayski note: I don’t follow this series, so I know nothing about Moyer. I am sure he is a good driver, but I highly doubt this would happen. A truck or Busch deal would happen first. You can check out the message thread at Chasinracin, check out the rest of the site too, it’s nice(10-20-97)


    (10-19-97)

  • I hear that actor/race driver Paul Newman will attempt to make the Homestead BGN race. He has lined up a huge – one-race sponsor (don’t know who). He was at Nashville the week of the celebrity race testing a BGN car and his lap times were supposedly very competitive.(10-19-97)(FALSE)
  • It was announced Saturday, October 18th during the Craftsman Truck Race at California Speedway that Mike Bliss has re-signed with the #2 Ford Truck team and will not take the #43 STP Pontiac Richard Petty ride. It was noted that he had talked to Petty about the ride. Crew Chief Barry Dodson has also re-signed with the team(ESPN2)(10-19-97)
  • Here is the final outcome from NASCAR about Billy Standridges engine heads:
    “The reason NASCAR took the heads back to Charlotte was to have a better look at them. It had gotten so late at Talladega(8:30-9:00P.M.)that there was not enough light to look at the heads. The reason it was so late was because the 98 team had to take their engine apart first before taking the borrowed engine apart that Billy used. NASCAR was ready to go back to Charlotte and that is why the heads where not checked until Tuesday. Billy has received the heads back and was told there would be no penalties and has also received money for second round fastest qualifier and race earnings.”(10-19-97)
  • Congrats, the BGNN series championship was decided this weekend. Mike
    Stefanik won the 1997 championship. For more into see The Unofficial NASCAR BGNN Site(10-19-97)
  • Looks like the news I posted a few days ago about Johnny Chapman signing with ST Motorsports for the #47 BGN ride was incorrect. He is still looking for a ride and has nothing signed at this time(10-19-97)


    (10-18-97)

  • BGN News: Rick Fuller younger brother of Jeff Fuller has been signed to drive
    for Doug Taylor Motorsports(#40 oops Chevy in 1998) and Channellock tools for Nov 9 at Homestead and for the 1998 season.(Worcester(MA) Telegram and Gazette & RPM2Nite)(10-18-97)
  • With more than 200,000 people passing through the gates of Charlotte Motor Speedway during UAW-GM Quality 500 and All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 week, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. recorded a record fall NASCAR event week.(PRNewswire)(thanks Phatman)(10-18-97)
  • I hear the rumor that Washington/Erving Motorsports was looking to by the #77 Jasper Engines team is false and that they were looking to do a deal with the engine department only. Now that it looks like W/E will only do a BGN deal for 1998 with a possible move up to WC in 1999(10-18-97)
  • A few Winston Cup drivers were in the No Fear Challenge in California: Ernie Irvan, #28 Federated Parts Ford(starting 8th), Kyle Petty #42 Hot Wheels Chevy(26th), Robby Gordon #18 Dana Dodge(18th), Michael Waltrip #1 Band-Aid Ford(27th).(10-18-97)


    (10-17-97)

  • Bill Elliott will drive the Team ASE Ford Truck Nov. 9 at Las Vegas as a teammate to Mike Bliss(10-17-97)
  • “NASCAR officials seized the cylinder heads off the #47 Jayski’s Ford driven by Billy Standridge following post race inspections. X-rays of the heads were enough to convince NASCAR officials to transport the the heads back to North Carolina for further testing. The engine Standridge ran with in the DieHard 500 was obtained from the #98 team owned by Cale Yarborough. Pentalties are pending.”(NSSN)(10-17-97)
  • I heard that Jeff Gordon suffered a broken shock mount, not a flat tire at the Diehard 500 in Talladega. Checking sources for confirmation(10-17-97)
  • Roger Penske supposedly is closer to buying Carl Haas out on the Kranefuss-Hass team and reports indicate Penske will merge the team with Penske South #2 Rusty Wallace Miller Lite Ford team(NSSN)(10-17-97)
  • While the Winston Scene reports that “if the (Penske-Haas) acquisition is finalized, indications are the two teams would operate as separate entities but possibly use the relationship for testing purposes”(10-17-97)
  • “NASCAR has given Ford three free tests for the new Taurus but a Ford spokesman said the dates of the tests have yet to established”(Winston Cup Scene)(10-17-97)
  • Many Chevrolet teams stayed at Talladega last week to conduct tests with unleaded fuel for Unocal(NSSN)(10-17-97)
  • #81 Square-D Filmar Racing team will build its own engines in 1998(Winston Cup Scene)(10-17-97)
  • Siemens Energy and Automation will be an associate sponsor in 1998 on the #96 Caterpillar Chevy driven by David Green(NSSN)(10-17-97)
  • Greg Sacks has filed a lawsuit against Ranier/Walsh Racing alleging breach of contract(Winston Cup Scene)(10-17-97)
  • Here is a sources take on the Close Call situation: “From day one of the Close Call deal, Catalyst was the sponsor (they own the Close Call Brand). Frontier was a supplier to Catalyst (they supplied the long distance minutes that were sold on the card), Catalyst was just our customer. Frontier was never a “paying” sponsor to the
    Close Call teams. In my opinion, the deal fell apart because Catalyst sponsored too many vehicles in year one as a sponsor. They had NASCAR Winston Cup, NHRA Top Fuel Dragster, (2) NHRA Pro Stock Bikes, Unlimited Hydroplane and a Winston Racing Series car at Hickory. The product was brand new and did not sell well enough to keep all of these teams going. If they had started off slower with one team and then expanded, it may have been a different story. To further back up my statements, the lawsuit filed by Bodine/Scandia racing is against Catalayst and not Frontier. As far as the layoffs and the cut of the pre-paid phone card business, the part that is being cut is our direct sales of the pre-paid product. Frontier still plans to be in the wholesale pre-paid business selling phone time to companies that sell pre-paid cards – just like we were doing for Catalyst.”(Thanks)(10-17-97)
  • The SB engine was tested by the #’s 3/31, 5, 18 and 96 teams at Talladega on Monday(NSSN)(10-17-97)
  • Looks like the rumor that Hendrick will start a 4th team with Jack Spague in the #25 Quaker State Chevy will not happen now, more news on this when I find out(10-17-97)
  • Not sure if this means anything but many of the local NJ Texaco stations around here are painting things red, silver and black. Maybe this gives us an idea of the paint scheme for next year(10-17-97)


    (10-16-97)

  • I hear the #91 may run at Atlanta but not at Phoenix or Rockingham. Pionite is pretty much done with their deal with the team. The team would like to sign Kevin Lepage but the owners won’t sign Lepage until they have a sponsor and they are still hunting for one(10-16-97)
  • The #15 Bud Moore Ford team plans to attempt to make the Rockingham or Atlanta race in 1997, no idea on a driver yet. The DaytonaUSA sponsorship was just for Charlotte and team sources tell me DaytonaUSA will not be their 1998 sponsor and that the team is still looking for sponsorship(10-16-97)
  • I hear the #3 GM Service Plus will go back to the old paint scheme in 1998 with the GM Goodwrench blue and white logo on the hood(10-16-97)
  • Whoops…half right, it was the #94 Ford that crashed at an Atlanta test but Jerry Nadeau was the driver (sort of confirms the Elliott second team rumors a bit). Nadeau was unhurt and Bill Elliott was the fastest at 191mph, Rick Mast also smacked the wall(NASCAR Online)(10-16-97)
  • Forget the rumor of #90 Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin leaving to become the crew chief of the #25(to be #50) Bud Chevy, it was announced on RPM2Nite that he is staying on the #90 Heilig Meyer team in 1998(10-16-97)
  • Correction on the Kevin LePage to the #4 BGN ride: The Lance Snacks sponsorship is accurate, Lepage isn’t. Owner James Finch says he hasn’t decided on a driver and there is a possibility he may get back with Jeff Purvis.(10-16-97)
  • Wayne Anderson, driver of the #25 Porter Cable Power Tools Chevy in the Slim Jim All-Pro, and #1 in Busch North, will be driving for Liberty Racing in 1998 as Kenny Irwin’s replacement(From a crew member)(10-16-97)
  • Frontier plans layoffs and sheds calling cards. What does this have to do with racing you ask? The answer is that Frontier was one of the two partners that joined forces to form Close Call that was (supposedly) the sponsor of Brett Bodine’s #11 Ford Thunderbird on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Recently, Brett ripped the sponsor’s name off the car and filed a multi-million dollar law suit against them. Initially, Frontier & Catalyst Communications were to join forces to market and sell long distance calling cards under the name of Close Call. From what I understand, Frontier was going to handle the technical aspect of enabling the cards, and Catalyst was going to market and sell the cards. Has anyone ever seen one? Yesterday, Frontier’s President & CEO Joseph P. Clayton announced that the company will drop the pre-paid calling card division. Clayton said: “Product lines that distract from our core business and inefficiently utilize our resources can no longer be a part of our business portfolio.” Included in the major restructuring plan are numerous layoffs, including about 70 in the Rochester area. Frontier Corporation is the parent company whose long distance, local telephone and wireless operations provide a range of integrated communications services to customers. Frontier is a Standard & Poor’s 500 company with annualized revenues approaching $2.5 billion. With sales locations nationwide and nearly 8,000 employees, Frontier is the fifth-largest long distance company in the United States.(NASCAR Fans and Ken Corpus)(10-16-97)
  • BGN Rumor: I have heard that Ricky Craven has bought out the contract of Andy Santerre from Mike Laughlin #45, and will field cars for Santerre. Santerre Busch North Sponsor Monro Muffler will follow him to Craven’s team(10-16-97)


    (10-15-97)

  • Two BGN Teams for ST Motorsports next season, Robert Pressley in #59, Johnny Chapman in #47, not sure of the sponsorship on the #47 but Pressley will have Kingsford Charcoal(10-15-97)
  • Sources tell me that Elliott Sadler is without a doubt he is staying where he is at Diamond Ridge Motorsports and that the reports the Wood Brothers have talked to him are false. He will have a new car number next year #66(10-15-97)
  • I hear from a reader that got a reply back from Texaco saying there are real close to coming up with a new paint scheme for Kenny Irwin in the #28 Texaco Ford for 1998.(10-15-97)
  • I hear that the car Dale Earnhardt will drive in the 1998 “The Winston” will be a Superman paint theme(10-15-97)
  • “Sterling Marlin was quite upset with Gordon after the crash on Sunday at Talladega, and was not convinced a tire let go on Gordon’s car, as Gordon said. “I’ll call it like I see it. It looked like Andretti and Gordon were going down the
    straightaway straight. Gordon swerved over and hit Andretti and got ’em both a little wiggly. Gordon overcorrected and hung me in the right rear and turned us both in the wall and started a big wreck.” One driver said the two had to be separated in the ambulance following the crash.”(iRace)(10-15-97)
  • Lance Snacks take their sponsorship to James Finch’s #4 BGN Chevy in 1998 with Kevin Lepage as the driver(10-15-97)
  • I hear ASA Champion Kevin Cywinski is moving to the truck series in 1998 as he won the competition for the seat on the #18 Dana-sponsored Kurt Roehrig team(10-15-97)
  • Earthquake in Fontana, CA on 10-14 but RPM2Nite reports that track officials at the California Speedway say there was no damage to the track(10-14-97), a reader reports “I live about 15 miles from Fontana and California Speedway, we were out in the yard when the earthquake hit, it shook good for about 10 seconds but was not hard enough to damage anything. It measured 4.0 on the Righter Scale which is not too bad, about 5.0 and we start to worry.”(10-15-97)


    (10-14-97)

  • The JournalNow reports that Ernie Irvan’s first ride in the #36 will be in a Winston West race November 8th in Las Vegas(10-14-97)
  • Look For ASA driver Brad Loney in the #45 Hunters Specialties BGN Car In Rockingham(10-14-97)
  • Kevin Lepage is going to be in the #4 BGN Phoenix Chevy in Fontana(NASCAR Online)(10-14-97)
  • “Action Performance Cos. Inc., Tuesday announced that it has signed a three-year licensing agreement with Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) for the merchandising rights for its NASCAR racing teams and cars driven by Steve Park and Ron Hornaday.”(PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE))(10-14-97)


    (10-13-97)

  • “The young man who helped put some much-needed zip in Dick Trickle’s No. 90 car may not be long for the team owned by Richmond’s Junie Donlavey. Crew chief Tommy Baldwin said yesterday he has been approached by Ricky Craven, who drives the No. 25 car owned by powerful Hendrick Motorsports, with an offer to serve him in the same capacity. Craven’s present crew chief, Andy Graves, appears bound for the Hendrick-owned No. 5 car driven by Terry Labonte now that Gary DeHart has been forced to give up his post. (Skip Wood, Richmond Times-Dispatch) AND HEILIG-MEYERS officials flew in here yesterday to talk with Tom, to try to persuade him not to take the job with Rick Hendrick and Ricky Craven. Baldwin is to meet with Hendrick men in Charlotte today to discuss the offer and says he will decided Tuesday what to do.”(JournalNow)(10-13-97)
  • Other names being tossed around for the #25 crew chief position include Tony Furr, who’s now the crew chief for John Andretti, and Kirk Shelmerdine, most recently the team manager for David Green.(Times-Dispatch)(10-13-97)
  • Sources at the track told me that the 3 rear deck lids confiscated from the #23, #28 and #99 cars before first-round qualifying were somehow welded together and the lip where the spoiler is placed were a tad lower than rules allow, which allowed the spoiler to ride a bit lower in the airflow(10-13-97)
  • The #98 RCA Ford had a rear-end housing confiscated by NASCAR Friday morning but I was not able to track down why, all I could find out was that it was illegal, but never saw the track. By the way, all these parts NASCAR takes, they keep and do not return them to the teams(10-13-97)
  • I hear Mark Reno will not remain with Robert Yates Racing after the 1997 season(10-13-97)
  • As rumored here and noticed by me in the garage area, Andy Graves will be the #5 Kelloggs crew chief in 1998. As rumored here and seen in today’s news, Tom Baldwin, Jr seems to be a candidate for the #25(to be #50 in 1998) crew chief job(RPM2Nite), also sources continue to tell me that Hendrick will have that 4th team with Jack Spague in the #25 Quaker State Chevy(10-13-97)
  • Rusty Wallace will drive a #2 Lite Ford in the BGN Kenwood 300 at the California Raceway this weekend, the car came from the Roush stable and used to be a #60 Winn Dixie car(RPM2Nite), Ricky Craven is listed as the owner(Winston Cup Scene)(10-13-97)
  • NASCAR’S planned open test today for the new Ford Taurus has fallen through, with only one team, the Woods, bringing a car. ”You can’t test what you don’t have,” Ford’s Don Miller said, saying NASCAR officials still haven’t approved three crucial body templates. One of those templates is the roof template. The roof of the production Taurus is rounded, which allows more air to reach the rear spoiler, giving it more relative downforce than a flat-roof Monte Carlo. Which way NASCAR will go is unclear. Ford executives are to meet again today with NASCAR officials to discuss the templates for the 1998 racing Taurus, and some Ford teams are worried that NASCAR will demand some significant aerodynamic changes. But Ford’s Preston Miller called yesterday’s meeting with NASCAR positive, and insisted that there was no brewing controversy. (JournalNow)(10-13-97)
  • But…..The #21 Citgo Taurus did test on Monday at Talladega and Michael Waltrip said the car was good and the Woods bros were happy with the results and will test there on Tuesday also. 6 Chevy teams also did some testing of the SB2 engine. That explains the second #5 Kelloggs chevy I saw in the garage Sunday after the race. Mike Dillion tested the #3 and Andy Hillenberg tested the #5 as Terry Labonte had to leave to attend the funeral of a grandparent(RPM2Nite), I was also able to sneak a peak of the #21 Citgo Taurus Saturday as a crew member was showing the car to someone and I happened to be walking by, it was inside a Woods Bros Go-Kart trailer(10-13-97)
  • One of the biggest names in racing, Al Unser Jr., could be headed to NASCAR, according to sources close to the Richard Petty team who say that Indy-car star is now on Petty’s list, if Unser leaves Roger Penske.(JournalNow), this will not happen(10-13-97)
  • I see this rumor has returned: Speaking of who’ll be back, Michael Waltrip might not be – at least not with the Wood brothers’ No. 21 car. Sources close to the situation say Waltrip, who’s 18th in the points standings, is being courted by Petty’s No. 43 vacancy, and that the Wood brothers certainly would have no objections if Waltrip chose to bolt. If that comes to pass, look for the Stuart-based Wood brothers to pursue a rookie driver for next season. (Skip Wood, Richmond Times-Dispatch)(10-13-97)
  • Bobby Allison was named an honorary member of the Robert Yates racing team yesterday. Allison is the son of Davey Allison, who won 15 races in Yates’ No. 28 car before being killed in a 1993 helicopter crash here. Yates said all his winnings from the race weekend will be forwarded to a trust fund for Bobby’s grandchildren.(Times-Dispatch)(10-13-97)
  • I hear SABCO fired two members of the #40 crew, no idea who or why(10-13-97)
  • On Sunday October 19, 1997 history will be made in the world of the ASA (American Speed Association). BJ McLeod, the thirteen year old racing prodigy from Wauchula, Florida will strap on his helmet, fire up his Pontiac engine and go racing with the Big Boys of the ASA.(AP), BJ has already tried to qualify for two races in Cedar Rapids, IA., and missed(10-13-97)


    (10-12-97)

  • Terry Shirley assumed the crew chief role of the #46 First Union SABCO Chevy driven by Wally Dallenbach last week, he is Dave Marcis’ former crew chief(CBS)(10-12-97)
  • Len Wood says Michael Waltrip will remain with his team next season, despite strong reports Waltrip is under consideration for the Richard Petty ride. ”We have heard the reports,” Wood said, ”but Michael says he’s not leaving.”(JournalNow)(10-12-97)
  • Crew chief Robin Pemberton, who runs Rusty Wallace’s team, says he isn’t taking a job with Jack Roush, who is in the market for a crew chief for Johnny Benson’s new team. And Pemberton said he was unaware of the reports that he is one of the candidates for a top post at Hendrick Motorsports.(JournalNow)(10-12-97)
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch writer Skip Wood has a good story about Dale Earnhardt at: Talk show: Earnhardt muses on present, future, thanks for the heads-up by NASCAR fans(10-12-97)
  • CBS’ Dick Berggren had a little story about who built a few of the Ford Superspeedway cars(Sheetmetal), Yates, Roush, Yarborough and Carters among others were built by Bobby Newling, and Roush has hired him away for 1998(10-12-97)
  • Ford officials are telling Julius Erving and Joe Washington to abandon plans for a Winston Cup team next season and to concentrate instead on a Busch team, according to NASCAR sources.(JournalNow)(10-12-97)
  • All might not be well within the Michael Kranefuss camp. Jeremy Mayfield, apparently not enthusiastic about becoming part of a two-car team, contacted Richard Petty to inquire about driving for his team, according to sources close to the Petty team. Kranefuss, however, has vetoed any driver change.(JournalNow)(10-12-97)


    (10-11-97)

  • The Quaker Oats Company, makers of Gatorade, announced this weekend a promotion with their Instant Grits and the Daytona 500. Consumers who buy Quaker Instant Grits will have the opportunity to mail in UPC proof of purchase seals to claim a limited edition die cast collectible for the 40th annual Daytona 500. The promotion will start in late October.(NASCAR Online)(10-11-97)
  • Brian Murphy became the first consumer to own a race-ready NASCAR Winston Cup Series car in a ceremony before Sunday’s DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mark Martin, who drove the Jack Roush-prepared car to three top-5 finishes in four races, signed the title of the car over to Murphy, the grand-prize winner of Valvoline’s
    Big Race Sweepstakes. “I’ve followed Mark’s career through the years —
    I’m one of his biggest fans,” said Murphy, who lives in the small Arkansas town (population 654) just 20 miles south of Martin’s hometown of Batesville and 40 miles north of Little Rock. “What better souvenir is there than a real race car? This is a dream come true. “I’m going to enter it in car shows and maybe see if I can drive it once around town to celebrate.” Murphy, a 27-year-old computer operator at Wal-Mart in Searcy, Ark., is one of more than 350,000 people who entered the contest, which ran May 1 to June 26. Murphy sent in 100 entries and won by random drawing. The car — numbered JR-48 in the series of race cars Jack Roush has produced — comes complete with all the racing components, including a 750-horsepower engine, suspension components, Goodyear Eagles and more. It is valued at more than $100,000. Martin
    raced the car four times, finishing fifth at the 1995 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fourth at Pocono Speedway in June, 1996, fourth in The Winston at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1996 and 18th in the The Winston in 1995. The car remained in Roush Racing’s active fleet until Murphy took ownership of it Sunday.(NASCAR Online), I hear Murphy said maybe he should sell the car to Earnhardt so he would run decent, this caused a few looks at the ceremony(10-11-97)


    (10-10-97)

  • The Winston Million will be gone in 1998 and be replaced by the Winston No Bull 5. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company announced that in 1998, The Winston Million will become the “Winston No Bull 5,” and will be the richest single-season bonus program ever conducted in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. The Winston No Bull 5 offers a total of $5 million to drivers, comprising possible $1 million pay-outs at five different events in 1998.(Speedworld)

    Explained by NASCAR Fans Site: Starting with this weekend’s event at Talladega, the Top-5 finishers will be eligible for a $1 Million payout at selected events. Here’s the way it’ll work: If a driver who finishes in the Top-5 this weekend at ‘Dega wins the Daytona 500, that driver will receive a $1M Bonus. If a driver who finishes in the Top-5 at the Daytona 500 should win the Coca-Cola 600, that driver will receive a $1M Bonus. If a driver who finishes in the Top-5 at the Coke 600 wins the Brickyard
    400, that driver will receive a $1M Bonus. If a driver who finishes in the Top-5 at the Brickyard 400 wins the Mountain Dew Southern 500, that driver will receive a $1M Bonus. And finally, if a driver who finishes in the Top-5 at the Southern 500 wins the Winston 500 (the fall event at Talladega for 1998….the event names will swap next year), that driver will receive a $1M Bonus. Basically, what this means is that 5 races next year will carry possible Bonus Payouts of $1M each from RJR. Instead of having one driver going for the Winston Million as in the past, we’ll have 5 drivers battling for the big bucks.” The Winston Million supposedly returns in 1999, of course that depends on the tobacco lawsuits, I had this info Thurs but was sworn to secrecy by a RJ Reynolds rep, also an additional $5 million part of the awards will be announced in December at the banquet.(10-10-97)
  • As rumored here months ago: The Winston brand has sponsored the Winston 500, historically held in late April/early May each year, and the Die Hard brand of Sears Roebuck and Company has sponsored the Die Hard 500, the second of two races each year at Talladega, for 10 years. In 1998 the two sponsors will switch dates on the calendar. After 27 years on the calendar in May, the Winston 500 will be run on October 11 in 1998 becoming the final event in the new Winston No Bull 5 bonus program, designed to take the place of the Winston Million next season. The Die Hard 500 will move to April 26 in 1998 and will end a 14 year tradition of being televised by CBS to pick up the ABC TV banner. ESPN will telecast the Winston 500 in October.(NASCAR Online)(10-10-97)
  • Here’s an interesting UNCONFIRMED (by NASCAR Fans, anyway) rumor:One of our readers has a brother who works for Ford Motor Company. Here’s his quote:”…the other day he (our subscriber’s brother) told me (the subscriber, not me, Mike) that he saw paperwork for a 2-door Taurus to come out as a 98 1/2 or 99 model car”.
    Note from Mike Irwin: This could explain how the ’98 Taurus stock car looks amazing like a 2-door model.(10-10-97)


    (10-9-97)

  • “North Carolina Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway in 1998 will swap dates. The ACDelco 400 in Rockingham, N.C., originally scheduled for Oct. 25, 1998 will move to Nov. 1 and the Phoenix, Ariz., NASCAR Winston Cup race will move to Oct. 25.”(NASCAR Online)(10-9-97)
  • Saw in the Philadelphia Daily News on my flight to Nashville, Coca-Cola classic, will become the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR starting in 1998(10-9-97)
  • Advantage Camouflage will be Lake Speed’s and the #9 Melling Ford’s sponsor for the rest of 1997. The car will be Red this weekend at Talladega and change to a black, white and camouflage scheme for Rockingham and the rest of the season(NASCAR Online) Speed will run in the Winston West Race in Las Vegas to prepare for next years date. Melling Racing will test a new Taurus in Two weeks at Daytona. Their Taurus was just completed(10-9-97)
  • As most of you know Winston West driver Dan Obrist suffered a massive coronary this past weekend. He was originally given a ten percent survival rate, but his condition improved dramatically. Dick Varder, the Winston West Chaplain, talked with Dan Obrist’s oldest daughter this AM 10/9/97 0900 hrs. She told him they have removed the ART line to his heart last night and have taken him off most medication and the ventilator. He will be in Yakama for two to three more days and then he can be transported to Portland for full recovery. This depends on the Dr. exam this morning and following days. If Obrist continues to recover at the rate he is
    going, he should be home very soon.Unofficial Winston West Page(10-9-97)
  • From ‘Unnofficial Kyle Petty webiste’ – Kyle Petty will have associate sponsorship from the Showtime (Cable Network) – according to the site he will be appearing in an upcoming program.(Thanks Eric)(10-9-97)
  • I hear LJ Racing is talking to BGN driver Kevin Lepage about driving the #91 Pionite Chevy in 1998, I here he may drive the car the rest of 1997(10-9-97)


    (10-8-97)

  • Happy Birthday Bill Elliott!! McDonald’s has signed a multi-year agreement with Elliott to remain the teams sponsor for years to come on the #94 Ford. No word on the second team yet(RPM2Nite)(10-8-97)
  • Dale Shaw has been let go as the driver of the #4 BGN Phoenix Chevy and Kevin LePage will drive the car at the Kenwood 300 at the California Raceway(thanks Ski)(10-8-97)
  • Here’s a wild story about the WCW amd WOW #49 Chevy BGN team and the switch from Kyle Petty to Greg Sacks WCW RACING GETS NEW WHEELS IN CHARLOTTE!,(thanks many readers and NASCAR fans)(10-8-97)


    (10-7-97)

  • I hear Andy Graves has taken over as Gary DeHart’s full-time replacement as crew chief for Terry Labonte and the #5 Kelloggs Chevy, not sure who will take Graves spot as the #25 Bud crew chief(Fayetteville, NC Observer-Times)(10-7-97)
  • The #78 Hanes Ford Team announced today that they have released crew chief Bob Johnson and have signed driver Gary Bradberry to a one-year contract with an option for a second year(10-7-97)
  • Area Auto Racing News(Trenton, NJ) reports in last weeks issue that Mike Wallace is also being considered to drive the 43 next year.(10-7-97)
  • I also hear that after all the driver auditions for the Dana Dodge truck ride that Butch Miller will get the ride 1998 and it was also announced that Robby Gordon would drive the truck in Fontana Oct 18th(10-7-97)
  • Sad News: NASCAR Winston West Series Driver Dan Obrist had a massive coronary this weekend at Yakima Speedway. He only has a 10% chance of living. The next 72 hours will be touch and go. For more and updated info see the Unofficial Winston West Page(10-7-97)
  • During an interview on RPM2Nite, John Andretti said he was staying with the #98 Cale Yarborough Ford and is under contract for two more years and WANTS to stay there(10-7-97)


    (10-6-97)

  • I hear from a reliable source that Bill Elliott and Dan Marino will team up for 1998 with Jerry Nadeau as the driver and First Financial as the primary sponsor. Sprint may be an associate sponsor.(10-6-97)
  • Kevin Lepage will be replaced by former motorcycle road racing champion Kevin Schwantzin the BGN #88 Ryder Driver Recruiting Chevrolet for the rest of 1997 and 1998. Owner David Ridling feels Lepage is headed to Winston Cup ride in 1998 and wanted to start working on their 1998 deal now.(NASCAR Online). I hear Lepage may go to the Winston Cup #91 LJ Racing Chevy in 1998 full time(10-6-97)
  • Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 1998 on the 75,000-seat Kansas Superspeedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Plans are that the track will open in 2000 on a 1,000 acre site in Wyandotte County. International Speedway Corp(ISC)(NASCAR), the track’s developer, hopes to add an additional 75,000 seats sometime after the track’s opening.(AP)(10-6-97)
  • “John Andretti says he’d like to be released from his contract with Cale Yarborough, who just lost RCA as sponsor. But Yarborough yesterday repeated his intent to keep Andretti, who has two years remaining on his contract. So any bid by Richard Petty to land Andretti is apparently dead. Among the others on Petty’s list is Mike Stefanik, the leading Grand National North and Modified tour racer”(JournalNow), According to sources, the 43 car already had extended its deadline several times for Andretti to made a decision, and that the offer now appears to be off the table. New “hot” name as Bobby Hamilton’s replacement: Truck driver Mike Bliss.(Times-Dispatch) as rumored here a month ago(10-6-97)
  • “Rick Hendrick is looking for a new crew chief, and Tom Baldwin, who has come into his own this season as crew chief for Dick Trickle, is on Hendrick’s list, according to sources close to the team.”(JournalNow)(10-6-97)
  • “NASCAR will have a special engine test of new unleaded racing gas at Talladega next week. According to NASCAR sources, teams will have to switch from leaded fuel to unleaded fuel by next July. Hendrick’s engine department, headed by Randy Dorton, apparently has an edge in the development of cylinder heads for the new fuel, according to sources close to the development project.”(JournalNow)(10-6-97)
  • “Richard “Slugger” Labbe, the ex-Hendrick man who has moved to Robert Yates’ operation to work with Kenny Irwin this fall, will be moving to the Dale Jarrett team next season as the new right-front tire changer and man in charge of car preparation.”(JournalNow)(10-6-97)
  • Plans for a new U.S. Road Racing Championship (with the support of NASCAR behind it) where announced on Thursday (10/2/97) in New York after a meeting of track owners, promoters and series officials, including NASCAR President Bill France, Jr. However, Andy Evans, $10 million investor in SportsCar since buying the series (formerly IMSA) last year, believes the main purpose was to put him out of business and is threatening to sue, accusing NASCAR and France, Jr. of being “de facto cartel in violation of
    anti-trust laws.”(USA Today thanks Tony), Andy Evans was on RPM2Nite saying bascially the same that a lawsuit was in the works(10-6-97)
  • “NASCAR’S Gary Nelson, reacting to Rusty Wallace’s 500,000 pennies as payment for his Martinsville fine, said Wallace’s payment for yesterday’s finish might be late in arriving . . . because it may take a while for him to find that many pennies. If Wallace had won the race, and earned all the bonuses, it would have been about a $100,000 payday. That would be about 35 tons of pennies.”(JournalNow)(10-6-97)
  • “The Roger Penske-Michael Kranefuss ”strategic alliance” is moving along, according to sources close to the situation, although none of the principals is saying much on the record. The key news is that Carl Haas, Kranefuss’ business partner in the NASCAR team for which Jeremy Mayfield drives, is considering selling his share of that team to Penske so he can concentrate on his Indy-car team. The Kranefuss team is making some significant engine room changes, dropping Peter Guild and hiring Larry Wallace, who provided yesterday’s motors. Mike Ege of the Penske team will provide Kranefuss with motors for Talladega.”(JournalNow)(10-6-97)
  • Check out part two of the Journal Now, Bill Elliott story by Mike Mulhern at GOLDEN GOOSE: Elliott says money is ruining stock-car racing(10-6-97)
  • Weird but true: Dale Jarrett had a left front spring rubber fall out of his car on the 2nd to last pit stop which caused concern for the crew but the #88 Ford handled better than it had all day and he won the race. Bobby Labonte had an engine cylinder crack about 1/3 thru the race and was still able to finish second(Charlotte Observer)(10-6-97)
  • “The newly remodeled Atlanta Motor Speedway is taking advantage of the fact that many race fans will be heading through Atlanta to nearby Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway next weekend. AMS, which has added a trioval and flip-flopped the
    track, is holding an open house Saturday(10-11) from 9am to 5pm”(Speednet)(10-6-97)
  • “Gordon tops $4 million in season winnings. He came up short of a victory in Sunday’s UAW-GM Quality 500, but Jeff Gordon did surpass $4 million in prize money for the season. The 26-year-old, who set the season record of $4,347,343 when he won the 1995 Winston Cup championship, is the first driver ever to go above $4 million without any postseason bonus money. Gordon won $62,200 Sunday for his fifth-place finish and has won $4,050,127 this season. Race winner Dale Jarrett is second with $2,227,847. With four races remaining, Gordon leads the chase for the $1.5 million championship bonus.”(Speedworld)(10-6-97)
  • “According to my Sunday morning edition of the Raleigh News & Observer there’s a rumor that Gary DeHart will not be returning to the Hendrick’s team in any capacity, but instead will be going to Dale Earnhardt’s new Winston Cup team with Steve Park.”(NASCAR Fan reader)(10-6-97)
  • But a source tells Gary DeHart will assume a management position within the Hendrick organization after he returns from his leave of absence.(10-6-97)
  • From the Rusty Wallace Fan Club meeting: Rusty said that they will be announcing a new associate sponsor in the coming weeks, he said that it would be Lennox Heating & Cooling and that the logo would go around the bottom of the car. Rusty was asked about a two car team and he said that there were no plans for a two car team but that his team would be working together with some teams sharing information and that they would make a formal announcement later.(10-6-97)
  • Here is some news I hear about the Richard Petty financial situation: I hear from someone close to the team that Richard Petty is NOT in financial trouble. It seems a lady opened a furniture store and used his name for marketing purposes…with
    his permission….and she filed bankruptcy and that is how the rumor got started(10-6-97)


    (10-5-97)

  • I hear that during happy hour practice it was mentioned that Pete Peterson is the new crew chief for the #7 and Geoff Bodine(10-5-97)
  • During NASCAR2Day on ESPN2 before the race, Kevin Lepage was interviewed and said he would once again be with the #91 Pionite Chevy and LJ Racing next week in Talladega as the team was happy with his 12th place qualifying run(10-5-97)
  • Also mentioned during NASCAR2Day was that #25 Bud chevy crew chief Andy Graves may move over and crew chief the #5 Kellogg’s chevy in 1998(10-5-97)
  • “RCA says it won’t return as the main sponsor of the No. 98 Cale Yarborough Motorsports Winston Cup entry for ’98. Also, driver John Andretti is expected to leave Yarborough and to replace Bobby Hamilton with the No. 43 Petty Enterprises team.”(SpeedNet)(10-5-97), so we have conflicting reports of what Andretti may do
  • “Cale Yarborough made it official yesterday, RCA won’t be back as sponsor next season. But Yarborough said he isn’t releasing John Andretti from his driving contract yet, despite reports that Richard Petty had asked Yarborough for permission to talk with Andretti. ”We’re looking for a sponsor, and we hope there is someone out there
    in the corporate world who wants to get involved,” Yarborough said. ”We think there is, and we’re talking to some of ’em. RCA just told us this last week they won’t be back. We’d have loved to known it sooner. But we’ll be all right.” Yarborough said that Andretti, who won for Yarborough at Daytona in July, would be back with him next season and would not be driving for Petty. ”No, he’s not leaving,” Yarborough said. ”He’ll be back with me, absolutely.””(JournalNow)(10-5-97)
  • I didn’t see the BGN race but I hear from my buddy Matt that “during the TBS Busch broadcast today , in a segment called “Autoweek Week in racing” they talked about Geoff Bodine getting the pole and mentioned, he has a new sponsor lined up for next year and will be running new colors. No sponsor mentioned and I haven’t heard anything about who it might be, nor did they say.”(10-5-97)
  • “DALE EARNHARDT might be trying to hire Steve Hmiel to help run Steve Park’s team next season, but Earnhardt might not be willing to pay Hmiel as much as Jack Roush, according to sources close to the situation. Hmiel, meanwhile, has begun working the garage for a crew chief to work with him on Johnny Benson’s cars next season . . . and sources within the Roush operation say Robin Pemberton’s name has come up as
    one man Hmiel might like to land. Hmiel and Pemberton have been teammates before, and Pemberton, according to sources close to the veteran crew chief, hasn’t been
    very happy the last few months at Penske South. There is also speculation that Robby Loomis, who works just up the road at Petty Enterprises, might be on Hmiel’s list.
    Loomis was also on Richard Childress’ short list of crew chiefs for Earnhardt’s team. Loomis, though, says he expects to stay with Petty.”(JournalNow)(10-5-97)
  • “Rick Hendrick is trying to get Richard ‘Slugger’ Labbe to return to Terry Labonte’s team, following crew chief Gary DeHart’s sudden reassignment, according to sources close to the Hendrick camp. However, Labbe, who left the team two months ago to work for Robert Yates and Kenny Irwin, is not expected to leave the Yates operation, according to sources close to Yates.”(JournalNow)(10-5-97)
  • “Joe Gibbs’ son J.D. has tested a Busch car at Richmond and plans to test his mettle as a driver on the tour next season.”(JournalNow)(10-5-97)
  • Bill Elliott fans: Mike Mulhern has an excellent story about Elliott today, sounds like the interview was done at Martinsville, Running on Empty, the story mentions “Elliott’s second team, being run out of his Dawsonville, Ga., shops, has four or five Grand National cars and three Winston Cup cars at the moment. And next year? ”We haven’t gotten that far along,” Elliott said. ”We’re trying to secure sponsorship from New Holland. We don’t have a clue yet what we’ll do with that team next year. I can’t tell you what’ll happen tomorrow, much less three months from now. It’s still September.””(JournalNow), makes you wonder about my next rumor(10-5-97)
  • Robert Pressley and the BGN ST Motorsports Chevy will be sponsored by Kingsford Charcoal in 1998 and 1998 and the team will switch from #47 to #59(Greensboro News & Record-Bob Zeller)(10-5-97)
  • Wally Dallenbach will be going to the exhibition race in Japan with a Woody Woodpecker Paint scheme.(NASCAR Online)(10-5-97)
  • The JournalNow also has an excellent story on Dick Trickle, An American classic: Dick
    Trickle is the definitive stock-car racer
    (10-5-97)

  • Kevin Lepage made his WC debut today at Charlotte in the #91 Pionite Chevy and started 12th which is LJ Racing’s best starting spot in it’s brief WC history(Greensboro News & Record-Bob Zeller)(10-5-97)


    (10-4-97)

  • It’s official: Felix Sabates, calling it “the worst-kept secret in racing,” announced Saturday the signing of driver Sterling Marlin to be part of Team Sabco in 1998. Marlin, a second-generation NASCAR star and a two-time Daytona 500 winner, joins Joe Nemechek and Wally Dallenbach Jr. as part of the three-car operation. He replaces Robby Gordon, who apparently will return to Indy-car racing in 1998.(the AP)(10-4-97)
  • I hear this will be announced Saturday, 10-4: Bill Elliott WILL have a second car in 1998, Jerry Nadeau as the driver, Dan Marino as a part owner and Sprint as the sponsor(10-4-97), hmm… didn’t hear this announcement(10-5-97)
  • I hear from Don who runs the John Andretti Website hears that Radio Shack may take over as sponsor on the #98 Ford in 1998(10-4-97)
  • “NEW POST: Eddie D’Hont, 38, has been named manager of Kenny Wallace’s Winston Cup
    #81 Square-D Ford team.”(Charlotte Observer)(10-4-97)
  • The complete Ozzie Smith/Winston Cup story can be found at Ozzie Takes A Swing At NASCAR Team. “Smith, Rod Wortham and Malcolm Briggs announced Friday that, beginning with the Daytona 500 in February, they will become NASCAR Winston Cup owners. The trio, who will join veteran NASCAR owner Harry Ranier, made the announcement at Gateway International Raceway in Madison.”(10-4-97)
  • “FATHERS AND SONS: The Mark Collie Celebrity Race for Diabetes Cure will feature a
    Generation Gap Race on Wednesday(10-8) at Nashville Speedway USA. Winston Cup fathers and sons competing in the 15-lap event include Mike and Jamie Skinner; Kyle, Adam and Austin Petty; Sterling, Steadman and Coo Coo Marlin and Bobby and Bobby Hamilton Jr. Call (615) 255-9600 for ticket information.”(Charlotte Observer)(10-4-97)
  • “The No. 9 Melling Ford driven by Lake Speed has acquired a one race sponsorship from the Wheels Sports Group for Sunday’s UAW-GM Quality 500. Wheels acquired Press Pass Partners, a manufacturer of collectible sports trading cards for the NASCAR market and High Performance Sports Marketing, a distributor of NASCAR merchandise”(NASCAR Online)(10-4-97)
  • The #12 Chevy will have Coors Light decals on the car Sunday as the #40 Coors Light Chevy failed to make the show with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel(10-4-97)
  • Just in case anyone missed this: Jeff Burton’s win in the Hanes 500 last week clinched the Manufacturers title for Ford. The blue ovals have won 17 of the 27 races to date and has scored 211 points to Chevrolet’s 184. A difference that can’t be overcome if Chevrolet wins all of the last five races this year.(NASCAR Online)(10-4-97)
  • Mentioned on Speedworld in the Sabates/Gordon split: “One important change he’ll(Sabates) be making is elevating longtime crew chief Tony Glover to team manager.”(Speedworld) From the Sabates interview on NASCAR Today it sounds like they will hire a third crew chief(10-4-97)
  • iRace reports that sources close to the #98 situation said Petty would likely meet with Carl Yarborough to discuss John Andretti rejoining Petty Enterprises. Andretti finished out the 1994 season with Petty(iRace)(10-4-97)
  • “BLACKOUT ON: Today’s TBS telecast of the All Pro 300 will be blacked out on cable
    systems within a 35-mile radius of CMS. Tickets in all price ranges remain and will be on sale today. Some tickets also remain for Sunday’s UAW-GM 500, and that blackout is still in effect, too.”(Charlotte Observer)(10-4-97)
  • “The raspiness in Jeff Gordon’s voice is the result of a polyp on the driver’s vocal cords. Doctors made the discovery last month when the Winston Cup points leader complained of a fever and of being hoarse most mornings. A Charlotte ear, nose and throat specialist put a camera down Gordon’s throat and identified the polyp, a small, benign outgrowth of tissue. Gordon said the polyp is sometimes painful. Gordon will likely have the polyp removed after the season, but until then, he has reduced his morning commitments. Orators and singers commonly develop polyps as a result of chronic irritation or overuse of the vocal cords, said Dr. Kevin Smith, a track physician at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”(Charlotte Observer)(10-4-97)


    (10-3-97)

  • On Friday, with no Winston Cup practice scheduled, Rusty Wallace had an armored
    truck deliver the fine in pennies, 500,000 of them, to NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He was unaware that NASCAR already had received a check for $5,000, but NASCAR president Bill France Jr. went along with the gag, accepting the shipment with a smile.(AP)(10-3-97)
  • Heard this from many sources: Gary DeHart has been put on a 3-week leave of absence following an altercation with another Hendrick Motorsports employee. It seems that they got into an argument about credentials for a race and it escalated from there, this happened at Martinsville(10-3-97)
  • NASCAR Online: The #30 Bahari Pontiac, to be sponsored by Jiffy-Lube. Jiffy-Lube is a Pennzoil-owned company.(10-3-97)
  • NASCAR Online has a nice story that breaks down most of the Silly Season moves se the story at: The Times They Are A Changin’(10-3-97)
  • RPM2Nite reports that Darrell Waltrip’s second team with Rich Bickle is in jeopardy as they have not found any sponsorship yet for either the second team of DW’s team. Bickle said he’d go back to the DW truck ride but admitted that is not what he wants to do(10-3-97)
  • On This Week in NASCAR Kenny Schrader said that Andy Petree will not have a
    second team next year, but will prepare for adding a second team in 1998 by beginning to hire people and putting them on a Busch team which will be driven by Ken Schrader. The car will race in about 12 races in 1998 and if all goes well Petree will add a second team in 1999.(10-3-97)
  • Also on This Week in NASCAR show Ward Burton said that although he is not signed with MBNA for next year, he is very close to signing a two year deal.(10-3-97)
  • BGN News all rumored here long ago: Matt Hutter to the #36 Stanley Tools Pontiac; Ryder will sponsor the #88 Chevy driven by Kevin LePage; Patty Moise will drive the #14 Rhodes Furniture(an Atlanta-based furniture acquired by Richmond’s Heilig-Meyers nearly a year ago) Ford owned by Michael Waltrip in a two-year deal; and Veteran NASCAR driver Bobby Hillin Jr. announced today that he has formed a NASCAR BGN team in a partnership with a handful of major league baseball players. Set to compete the full NASCAR Busch Series in 1998, Hillin has teamed up with St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Gary Gaetti, catcher Danny Sheaffer, pitcher Andy Benes and others to form Bobby Hillin Racing.(NASCAR Online)(10-3-97)
  • I hear #5 Kellogg’s crew member Joey Knuckles who recently was let go at Yates Racing has also been released by Hendrick Motorsports, no idea why(10-3-97)
  • More St. Louis connections: Former St. Louis Cardinal shortstop Ozzie Smith held a news conference today and announced that he has joined with Harry Ranier to form Wizard Motorsports and will field a Winston Cup car. No other information was given as to when they would enter their first race, or who the driver, crew chief or sponsor would be. All of the local St. Louis stations reported this story. Anyone else here there or know a site that has this story(10-3-97)
  • “America Online, the computer service, is busy again. No, not its access line, but the company itself. AOL has entered the world of auto racing, and will sponsor an Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) car next season. The car will be owned by a new team formed by longtime driver Andy Belmont and will debut in the ARCA Supercar Series event in February at Daytona International Raceway”(Richmond News-Dispatch)(10-3-97)
  • ASA driver Mike Miller practiced his WC car at Charlotte, but the car was too loose and he decided not to attempt qualifying, next attempt is Atlanta, but hey, he won the ASA race this weekend(10-3-97)
  • From NASCAR Fans: “Just heard on the 5:30 pm local new in Charlotte that Brett Bodine is suing a company call Catalyst Communications for almost $14 million. Catalyst is the parent company of Close Call Phone Cards which sponsored Bodine’s
    car for the first part of the season. Bodine said that Catalyst agreed to pay sponsorship fees thru 1999 but stopped making payments in May. The suit sites breech of contract and is asking for damages and attorney fees.”(10-3-97)
  • Here what I hear on the Sabates/Gordon split: the agreement was that Gordon could drive the CART race last week, but he had to use Goodyear tires …supposedly the fact
    that he used Firestone was the last straw for #40 Coors owner Felix Sabates(10-3-97)
  • RCA made it official today, they will will leave the #98 Cale Yarborough Ford driven by John Andretti after the 1997 season and has announced that it will “take a lower profile in NASCAR racing sponsorship”.(RPM2Nite), one rumor has Radio Shack as a replacement and RCA says they may come back to the sport in 1999 as a primary sponsor(10-3-97)


    (10-2-97)

  • “Penske Racing and Kranefuss-Haas Racing are expected to announce that Penske is buying as much as half interest in the K-H team. Penske is expected to supply engines for both teams.”(Raleigh News & Observer)(10-2-97)
  • Kyle Petty has shut down his PE2 engine program and his powerplants will be provided by Petty Enterprises(Raleigh News & Observer)(10-2-97)
  • “One top car owner in the market for a crew chief (Gary DeHart) is Ford’s Jack Roush, whose Liberty shop isn’t far from DeHart’s hometown of High Point. Roush might be looking for more than just a crew chief, if Steve Hmiel, manager of the Liberty operation, moves on now that Mark Martin is leaving the Liberty team. Hmiel is under consideration for a job running the Dale Earnhardt-Steve Park team.”(in part JournalNow)(10-2-97)
  • According to Winston Cup Today Mike Bliss is in consideration for the #43 ride.(as rumored here a few weeks back)(10-2-97)
  • Rumors have #25 crew chief Andy Graves leaving the #25 Bud Chevy(to be #50 in 1998) and Ricky Craven to be the crew chief on the #5 Kelloggs Chevy with driver Terry Labonte(10-2-97)
  • “Rick Wilson Racing With Yates Engine: Why was engine master Doug Yates working on an air filter housing in the David Blair Motorsports garage stall? Consider it a returned favor. Rick Wilson will drive the #27 at CMS, and he’ll have plenty of thunder under his right foot as Yates was tuning one of his engines in the bay of the Blair car.”(TNN-Country.com), Blair/Yates are teaming by running Kenny Irwin, Jr in the #27 Ford at selected races in 1997 in preparation for Irwin driving the #28 Texaco Ford in 1998 for Yates(10-2-97)
  • NASCAR fined Rusty Wallace $5,000 Thursday for comments he made after the
    Hanes 500 at Martinsville, Va. Wallace vented his frustration about
    NASCAR’s ruling in several postrace interviews. NASCAR said Wallace was
    being fined because he used profane language in a live interview on a
    nationally syndicated radio broadcast shortly after getting out of his car.
    Wallace said he had no plans to appeal the fine.”(Speedworld)(10-2-97)
  • “And another shakeup might be looming, this time within the Wood brothers’ team. Michael Waltrip, their driver, is under consideration for the ride with Richard Petty, according to sources close to the situation. What the Woodses might do for a new driver if Waltrip were to move on isn’t clear. But Elliott Sadler, who is making his Winston Cup debut here this weekend in a one-race deal with Felix Sabates, has been under their eyes for some time.”(JournalNow) Jayski note: Waltrip recently(7-21-97) re-signed with the Woods team for 1998 and Sadler is under contract with Gary Bectel thru at least 1998 if not longer and Bectel doesn’t play games with contracts, remember Steve Grissom’s situation in 1996 after he was let go from the #29? but he has said in the past that he would let Sadler out of his contract if it was for a good ride(10-2-97)


    (10-1-97)

  • Greg Sacks will be in the #40 Coors Chevy at Talladega(RPM2Nite)(10-1-97)
  • This must be the Earnhardt sponsor news rumored here earlier: Wrangler will an associate sponsor on Steve Park’s WC car next year with Pennzoil as Primary. Car will change from typical Pennzoil car of now. More black than anything.(10-1-97)
  • RPM2Nite showed the new #23 Ford in it’s Winston colors, it’s red, white and silver and very sharp looking. The car will debut in the 40th Daytona 500 (10-1-97)
  • From NASCAR Fans and many other sources trickling in now: “STATEMENT FROM JIMMY JOHNSON VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS Gary DeHart has resigned as team manager of the Hendrick Motorsports #5 Kelloggs team for personal reasons and will be reassigned to other duties within our organization. Gary has been under a great deal of stress, and we support him in his decision and feel it is in everyone’s best interest for him to assume another role. He has been a talented and valued member of the Hendrick Motorsports family for a long time. He will take a brief leave of absence and we look forward to his return and to his playing a continued major role in the future of our organization. Gary’s duties will be shared on an interim basis by Randy Dorton and Eddie Dickerson.”(10-1-97)
  • Several teams are sporting new or specialty paint schemes for this weekend. Terry Labonte will have a green and black car with the “Spooky Fruit Loops” lettering. The brothers Waltrip have the retro-look on their cars. Darrell’s will resemble the Gatorade No. 88 car that he ran in the late 1970s, and brother Michael is sporting the Wood Brothers candy apple red and white that graced the No. 21 car when Pearson was at the wheel. Other cars with a new look include Wally Dallenbach’s First Union Chevrolet, Jimmy Spencer’s Camel Ford and the new Tabasco Pontiac driven by Todd Bodine, which will be a regular sight on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1998.(NASCAR Online)(10-1-97)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. is attempting to qualify for the BGN race this weekend at Charlotte with Wrangler as the sponsor(Dale, Sr’s old sponsor).(10-6-97)
  • Kranefuss/Haas and Penske South will do chassis and engines together in a joint effort. He (Penske) thought about a two car team and this seems to be the better answer.(NASCAR fans)(10-1-97)
  • ChannelLock will announce their 1998 BGN sponsorship plans this week. Look for their colors on either Jason Keller in a third BACE car, or it’ll be a former champion of one of NASCAR’s other touring divisions, who will run for BGN rookie of the year.(10-1-97)
  • I hear RCA will not sponsor any team in 1998 and an announcement will be made soon. So this would in effect kill three rumors: The #98 retaining RCA; the second Bill Elliott team getting RCA; and the Darrell Waltrip team(s) getting RCA as their sponsor. So as of right now DW has no sponsorship for 1998 and no real rumors floating around. hard to believe some company does not want DW as a spokesperson(10-1-97)
  • With RCA leaving it may clear the way for John Andretti to go back to the #43 STP Team(10-1-97)
  • “Petty Enterprises has begun outfitting its two pit crews, for Bobby Hamilton’s
    STP Pontiac and Kyle Petty’s Hot Wheels Pontiac, in Harley Davidson Motorclothes. Richard and Kyle Petty, who have been avid Harley Davidson riders for more than 15 years, found that the denim clothing is functional as well as good looking. The teams will wear them during the entire preparation process for both teams for this weekend’s race.”(NASCAR Online)(10-1-97)
  • There was a little blurb in today’s Charlotte Observer about the schedule at CMS for today. It included this little nugget: “…News conferences concerning sponsorships for Terry Labonte and Jimmy Spencer are also scheduled…”(Observer)(10-1-97)
  • On Friday, Patty Moise will announce her 1998 Grand National plans,(Michael Waltrip owned ride) as will Team 34 Racing. Todd Bodine is leaving that team for Winston Cup next season(Charlotte Observer)(10-1-97)
  • From the DWS44 Online
    Tribute to the Labontes Page
    : Bobby (Labonte) sold the entire #44 Shell Oil Busch operation to (Joe) Gibbs. Apparently, Bobby is going to start ANOTHER Busch team. I hear the car will apparently be #18, but no sponsor has been announced.(10-1-97)
  • Remember the Saturn Winston Cup car rumor I reported on a while back? I hear it is actually a Dragster with a Saturn body.(10-1-97)
  • The Rusty Wallace Controversy over the restart boils. Sources are saying that Rusty never heard a warning from Robin Pemberton. NASCAR has said they warned Pemberton twice. RUMOR, has it Wallace was never told. Wallace said HE(someone in NASCAR) has had it against me for years. Rumors are that because of the four letter words that Rusty used could bring him a fine from NASCAR. Again these are rumors close to the track.(NASCAR Fans)(10-1-97)
  • As rumored here back on 9-13, Matt Hutter, the son of engine builder Ron
    Hutter who builds the engines for Team 34, will be Todd Bodine’s replacement in the #36 BGN Stanley Tools Pontiac in 1998(10-1-97)
  • The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes will be the associate sponsor again on Jeff Burton’s Winston Cup car at Charlotte this weekend.(NASCAR Fans)(10-1-97)
  • Felix Sabates has a news conference Saturday, at which he is expected to announce Sterling Marlin will drive the No. 40 car in 1998. Sabates and Robby Gordon announced Tuesday they have agreed to part company immediately instead of waiting until season’s end.(Charlotte Observer)(10-1-97)