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PAST NEWS SEPTEMBER 1997




    (9-30-97)

  • Well, it’s over, that is Robby Gordon’s tenure with SABCO and the #40 Coors Chevy. Gordon asked for and was granted his release from the SABCO Winston Cup ride effective immediately. Gordon says he is talking to several WC owners and CART owner Carl Hogan about rides for 1998. Elliott Sadler will fill the seat in the #40 Coors Chevy at Charlotte this weekend. No idea who may jump in the ride for the remainder of 1998, Greg Sacks is Sabates favorite but will be in the #15 Bud Moore Ford this weekend, so he may fill the seat after Charlotte, unless Marlin gets his release from the #4 sooner, oh yes, expect the formal announcement that Sterling Marlin will go to the #40 Coors car in 1998(worst kept secret of 1997)(parts from RPM2Nite, iRace and my thoughts)(9-30-97)
  • The Bill Davis #93 Pontiac BGN/ARCA team and Dave Blaney will debut at Atlanta in the ARCA race.(9-30-97)
  • The news concerning one of Dale Earnhardt’s sponsors making an announcement at Martinsville was held up(I know not why), supposedly one of his sponsors is going to become the sponsor of a truck and WC race(9-30-97)
  • “All but the last tiny details have been worked out concerning Heilig-Meyers’ continued sponsorship of the Winston Cup car owned by Richmond’s Junie Donlavey. It will be a three-year deal, with the last year option-designated, that would carry the association into the year 2000. The rapidly expanding Richmond-based furniture company also is expected to increase its financial backing, which, at $5 million-plus, already is among the top 15 — if not top 10 — sponsor packages on the circuit. Dick Trickle is expected to climb behind the No. 90 car’s wheel for at least one more year, after which his status will be determined on a yearly option basis.”(GVA)(9-30-97)


    (9-29-97)

  • The new Bill Davis BGN team that will field Amoco Pontiacs for Dave Blaney will be the #93 after 93 Octane Amoco gas. Gil Martin will crew chief and run the team. They will also run some ARCA events to help familiarize Blaney with the Winston Cup tracks that BGN does not run with an eye at moving up to WC in 1999 as a second team car to the #22(9-29-97)
  • Here is the latest from Don who runs the John Andretti Website hears RCA will be back next year on the #98, with Radio Shack as an associate sponsor. Don also has some ticket’s alvailable for Talladega if anyone needs them, drop by his site and email him(9-29-97)


  • From the AP: Rusty “Wallace was forced to make a stop-and-go pit stop after NASCAR ruled he had jumped the gun on the restart to begin the 478th lap. After leading 220 laps in what was clearly the strongest car, he wound up finishing 15th. ‘They rule it, and they can do what they want,’ Wallace said of NASCAR. ‘I’m going to talk to them a little bit about it, because I’ve got a feeling who it was. The guy has had a grudge for me for a long time, and I’m going to go talk to him. This is ridiculous. I’ve never seen nothing like it.’ He did not name the NASCAR official to whom he was referring.”(AP) NASCAR officials said they had warned Wallace’s team at least twice to watch their restarts before penalizing him(SpeedNet)(9-29-97)
  • Gil Martin also helped out the #22 MBNA team with the setup at Martinsville and Ward Burton got the pole. Let’s see Gil was the crew chief of the #81 Kenny Wallace driven Square-D Ford who won a pole in the spring at…..Martinsville(9-29-97)
  • Ralph Moody, a true NASCAR legend, will be inducted into the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends on Winston Pole Night, October 1st. Moody drove to five victories and five poles in 47 races between 1965 and 1972. However, Moody is best known as half of the potent Holman-Moody operation that fielded Fords for some of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. Along with partner John Holman, Moody created the most complete race car operation in all of motorsports.(TNN-Country.Com/NASCAR fans)(9-29-97)
  • Michael Waltrip took part in the Hanes 500 only a few hours after his wife, Buffy gave birth to their first child, Waltrip’s second. Margaret Carol Waltrip was born at 6:38 am Monday. Congratulations!(9-29-97)
  • Michael Kranefuss, owner of the #37 KMart Ford “says his talks with (Roger)Penske (owner of the #2 Lite Ford) about a joint effort as car owners next season on the Winston Cup tour are still just that, talk; but talk that Kranefuss says could lead to something important.”(JournalNow)(9-29-97)
  • Bill Elliott ran a decal on the #94 McDonald’s Ford celebrating 50th anniversary of the CIA. Asked why , Crew Chief Mike Beam said they’re hoping to get more information on the new Ford Taurus.(9-29-97)
  • During the Martinsville race and RPM2Nite it was announced that the Family Channel will not return to the #16 Ted Musgrave driven/Roush owned Ford, this we knew, but it was also announced that Primestar signed a one-year deal to return to the team in 1998(9-29-97)


    (9-28-97)

  • I hear Johnny Benson’s colors next in 1998 in the new Roush Ford will be taupe(kinda like a light khaki), Navy blue and a little yellow. The scheme will be “Team Cheerios”.(9-28-97)
  • DaytonaUSA will be sponsoring Bud Moore’s #15 Ford with Greg Sacks at the wheel in Charlotte. Check it out at DaytonaUSA, even has a picture of the car there(DaytonaUSA)(9-28-97)
  • WRONG: Sorry folks, the Cartoon Network will NOT sponsor the #9 Melling car at all in 1997, I had been told that the car would have the Cartoon Network on for the final two races, but the VP of the Lake Speed Fan Club saw Lake today in Martinsville and Speed said, “The Cartoon Network deal starts next February at Daytona,” and no sooner, “They (Cartoon Network) are still under contract with the #29 car for the remainder of this year.”(9-28-97)
  • Team Scandia Page reports that Royal Purple will take over as the primary sponsor on the #11 Bodine/Scandia Ford. The story mentions it would happen at Dover but it did not. So it starts at Martinsville this weekend. The story also states “Royal Purple’s sponsorship will allow the Bodine team to participate in the remaining races on the 1997 NASCAR schedule with full financial support. Efforts to obtain additional corporate sponsors for the remainder of this season and for the 1998 Winston Cup season are ongoing and are expected to be finalized within 60 days.”(thanks Chris)(9-28-97)
  • Remember that Chrysler rumor? I heard from friend’s close to the Archers who tell me that the Archer’s have not done anything with Mopar since 1994. He said his info is that Chrysler is not interested in in WC.(9-28-97)
  • I hear that in 1998 the #36 Skittles team and Ernie Irvan is going to run a few one time only paint colors. Two I heard about include the Tropical Skittles for the night race at Daytona(Pepsi 400 in July), and also an M & M’s car.(9-28-97)
  • “The word on the street is that Jack Roush wants to make a pitch to hire McReynolds as crew chief. But McReynolds says he’s not ready to bail out on Childress and Earnhardt. “I made a four-year commitment to Richard,” McReynolds says. “And
    I’m sure at some time in that four years, if I get to where I can’t stand it
    anymore, I’m sure our agreement can be agreed upon.”(in part from the JournalNow)(9-28-97)
  • “The G-forces in the tight, hairpin-like turns at Martinsville also affect performance. Basically, everything pushes to the right, including the fluids in the car. John Andretti’s (#98 RCA Ford) team apparently tried to counteract that effect, and improve the efficiency of their engine, by installing an oil pan that was offset about a quarter of an inch from the authorized position. Officials confiscated the oil tank before qualifying Friday and had it in the NASCAR transporter Saturday. Spokesman Kevin Triplett said NASCAR will keep the oil pan, but he doubts the infraction will lead to a fine.(News & Record Online)(9-28-97)
  • I hear that the 1998 BGN schedule does not include Myrtle Beach or South Boston, Va and that Pikes Peak will be added(9-28-97)


    (9-27-97)

  • Here is a wild story from CJ’s Racing Country Page, “Richard Petty is broke and very close to bankruptcy and has fired his business manager who has embezzled and/or lost millions”, see CJ’s page for the rest of the story, go to the bottom the page for the story(9-26-97), I have had two sources back this story up(9-27-97)
  • I hear that Ward Burton will stay with the #22 Bill Davis MBNA Pontiac team in 1998(9-27-97)
  • “(Rusty)Wallace and (Jeremy) Mayfield are expected to become teammates next season, in what is being described by sources close to the situation as a merger ”of sorts” between car owners Roger Penske and Michael Kranefuss. Neither Kranefuss nor Penske are here(Martinsville) yet. Don Miller, manager of the Wallace-Penske team, had talked on Sunday of such a situation developing. It appears now that the two teams could be sharing elements of engine development as well as chassis programs.”(JournalNow)(9-27-97)
  • RPM2Nite reports that Mark Martin and crew chief Jimmy Fennig would move from his Liberty NC shop to the Roush Shop in Mooresville, NC where Jeff Burton is housed after the season. QUOTE.”Leaving #26 Cheerio’s Sponsored Ford of Johnny Benson to team up with Ted Musgrave for the 98 season”(9-26-97)
  • The Journal Reports: “Martin announced a major shakeup in his Jack Roush-owned team at the end of the season — a move from Liberty to Mooresville, a new crew, and a fleet of new cars. Jimmy Fenning is expected to remain as crew chief, but Steve Hmiel, manager of the Liberty operation, will remain at Liberty and thus split with Martin. Martin said that his new Roush team would be run out of Buddy Parrott’s shop north of Charlotte.(JournalNow)(9-27-97)
  • The Jasper Engines #77 will test at Talladega on Tuesday(9-30) with Robert Pressley at the wheel(9-27-97)
  • Dale Jarrett will have to start a backup car 42nd as during the Saturday morning practice session, Jarrett’s #88 QC/Ford Credit Ford caught fire when his alternator broke and knocked the fuel line loose. The crew said it burned everything up and the deeper they got while trying to fix the car, the more they saw that it could be fixed in time(NASCAR Online)(9-27-97)
  • 2nd Round Qualifying: Johnny Benson was the fastest at 92.965mph. See the Provisional Page for who used a provisional and who missed the race(9-27-97)


    (9-26-97)

  • Lake Speed and the #9 Melling Ford will supposedly have the Cartoon Network on the car for Phoenix and Atlanta. As reported here before they will also run the rest of the 1997 schedule(9-26-97)(wrong see above)
  • I hear that Darrell Waltrip has the #26 for his second team in 1998(not the 5th Roush team), still looking for sponsorship(9-26-97)
  • Brett Bodine had purple colors during qualifying but did not have any sponsor on the car(9-26-97)
  • Word in Charlotte is that Fox has decided NOT to pursue production of the first 13 episodes of Steel Chariots.(Chaz Hinkle)(9-26-97)
  • Patty Moise will be driving the full Busch Grand National schedule in 1998. She will be in a Ford sponsored by Rhodes Furniture and owned by Michael Waltrip. Michael Waltrip will still run a few BGN races just like this year.(CHAMP, Jim Carson & NASCAR Fans)(9-26-97)
  • Nothing to do with NASCAR but interesting, Philadelphia Channel 6 just announced that the IRL will run at Dover in 1998. That should be wild(thanks Matt)(9-26-97)


    (9-25-97)

  • As reported before Terry Labonte will run a special Frankenstein paint job at Charlotte. Michael Waltrip has special paint scheme for this race too a tribute to David Pearson, running colors of old(9-25-97)
  • Not sure what to think about this but a good source passed it to me: The Archer
    Brothers tested a pair of Winston Cup Dodge Intrepids back in the spring but no
    further details on test results or whether NASCAR would approve the body were available.(9-25-97) WRONG see above
  • I hear Bobby Hillin is trying to put together a Busch car deal for 1998 and is
    actively working on several sponsorship deals.(9-25-97)
  • Hover Motorsports based in Vienna, OH announced on Thursday. Andy Hillenburg will drive the rest of the season in the #80 Ford Thunderbird in the ARCA series. Elcon Inc will be the sponsor for the Oct 11 race in Talladega and Gravy Train will be the sponsor for the Atlanta Nov 15th race. Hover Motorsports plans to run a limited ARCA series schedule and 10 Winston Cup races in 1998(WFMJ Sports, Youngstown, OH)(9-25-97)
  • “Richard Petty has announced that Jimmy Hensley will continue to be the driver of his #43 Cummins Engine Company Dodge Ram in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1998.”(NASCAR Online) Hensley is not a candidate for the #43 STP Pontiac WC Ride(9-25-97)
  • Ken Schrader and Jimmy Spencer tested at Talladega earlier this week(9-25-97)


    (9-24-97)

  • The #91 LJ Racing Chevy is planning on running the rest of the season and Pionite will sponsor any of the races the team makes. The next race they will attempt will be Charlotte with BGN driver Kevin LePage(9-24-97)
  • “NASCAR officials announced modifications to the Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    for competition in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Through a technical bulletin,
    officials announced a one-quarter inch increase to 6.00 inches to the rear spoilers in
    height. The changes will be effective for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series UAW-GM
    Quality 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 5, 1997.”(Speedworld)(9-24-97)
  • Circuit City have re-upped with the #8 soon to be Chevy driven by Hut Strickin for 1998(NASCAR Online)(9-24-97)
  • Lake Speed and the Melling Racing Team have decided to run the balance of the races on the 1997 Winston Cup Circuit in the #9 Melling Engine Parts Ford Thunderbird. The schedule will begin with the race this weekend at Martinsville, VA.(Lake Speed FanClub)(9-24-97)
  • “Washington Erving Motorsports’ still has not named a driver or a sponsor for its Winston Cup effort in 1998. Ford officials have been encouraging the team to buy an existing Winston Cup team’s cars and equipment, but the team has said it still plans to start its own operation.”(Charlotte Observer)(9-24-97)
  • Craftsman Truck driver Stacey Compton said in NASCAR Online chat today that the team will not race any Winston Cup in 1997, may try a few races in 1998 and hope to go full time in the Winston Cup series in 1999(NASCAR Online)(9-24-97)
  • The March 1998 Las Vegas WC race is already sold out(9-24-97)
  • “NASCAR officials have announced that $500 fines have been levied against Eddie Pearson and George Jones of the Buckshot Racing Team following Saturday’s MBNA 200 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division race at Dover Downs International Speedway.”(NASCAR Online), this occurred when the crew members blocked Joe Bessey from entering the winners circle after they thought Bessey punted their driver, Buckshot Jones, Joe never stopped(9-24-97)
  • I hear Tim Steele may be the driver for the #15 Bud Moore team in 1998(9-24-97)
  • Jeff Davis, NASCAR Winston West Series veteran, will be racing at Suzuka in Japan.
    I also hear Ernie Irvan will not be going to Japan(9-24-97)
  • This is one of the few times I will offer my opinion: While I enjoyed Steel Chariots the FOX TV movie shown last night, it was loaded with racing inaccuracies: At the beginning the #20 car(our hero) crashed front first into the was, while the driver is being stretchered away you see the car backwards on a wrecker with the back demolished(the Texas Sacks/Irvan accident), they made a huge deal that they needed someone to qualify the car and get it in the show and not miss the race, but wait….the #20 car was leading the WC points, can you say PROVISIONAL?? And if not at least bring it up and say he had no more(if that was the case), how about the 206mph pole speed at Talladega when the truth is 189-191mph. And finally, at the end when the #9 was constantly bumping the #20 to let him pass, it would probably have put the #20 in the wall the first time. Some of the racing scenes were pretty cool, you could see the use of many tracks at different scenes which were supposed to be at the same track. I did think the redhead girl was cute…anyhow those are my thoughts on the show(9-24-97)


    (9-23-97)

  • Todd Bodine previews the #35 Tabasco Pontiac team this week at Charlotte and was at Charlotte today shaking down the car(RPM2Nite), check out a picture of the car at the TNN Page, (thanks Ian)(9-23-97)
  • I hear something concerning either Dale Earnhardt or one of his drivers or sponsors will be announced this weekend in Martinsville(9-23-97)
  • I hear the #91 Chevy is not done for the year and will attempt Talladega with a RCR motor. No definite driver yet.(Soups Auto Racing Page)(9-23-97)
  • I hear Pepsi and NASCAR may be shaky in the future, look for something from Coke Cola and NASCAR in the near future(9-23-97)
  • I hear the Washington-Erving Motorsports team (Dr J) deal is looking more and more like it will be Busch only in 1998(9-23-97)
  • Rusty Wallace was a Charlotte testing his #2 Lite Thunderbird and his #2 Lite Taurus, no speed was given but Wallace said that the Taurus was 1/2 second slower right off the truck(RPM2Nite)(9-23-97)
  • Possible 3rd BGN team for BACE Motorsports next year, but driver will have to
    bring the sponsorship, I do hear it may be Jason Keller(9-23-97)
  • The Journal Now reports that rumors of Rusty Wallace leaving Penske South are nothing but rumors and that GM Don Miller is not retiring as reported earlier(9-23-97)
  • Per the Greensboro News & Record – Race Stock Prices Losing Speed, The #8 Stovola Bros team announced they will switch from Ford to Chevy in 1998, confirming Speedworld’s news a few weeks back(hey I never doubted), this article also has a good story about Racing Stock Prices(9-23-97)
  • Luxaire is not leaving the #99 BGN Chevy driven by Glenn Allen, Jr. Luxaire and J & J Racing are aggressively looking for a sponsorship partner to go with the Luxaire sponsorship for Glenn Allen and the team. Luxaire is extremely happy with Glenn and his team owner Bill Papke.(9-23-97)


    (9-22-97)

  • I hear from a good source that Hendrick will have a FOURTH WC team in 1998 with Jack Sprague driving a Quaker State Chevy, no idea what number it will be and if the crew will move up with him from the truck series(9-22-97)
  • I hear Gumout will be the sponsor on the #30 Chuck Rider owned Pontiac that will be driven by Derrike Cope in 1998(9-22-97)
  • Remember ASA driver Mike Miller attempting(his didn’t make it) Atlanta in the spring? Well he plans to attempt to make the Charlotte WC race on October 5th, additional news can be found at Mike Miller Homepage(9-22-97)
  • As we know Close Call is off the #11 Brett Bodine/Andy Evans Ford, but as rumored here a month ago, I hear that the car will be purple this week at Martinsville and carry Royal Purple, a company Andy Evans(team co-owner) is affiliated with(9-22-97)
  • Robby Gordon will not run the Winston Cup Hanes 500 at Martinsville, VA this weekend as he will run in the CART series race in Fontana, CA. Steve Park will take his place in the #40 Coors Light Chevy(RPM2Nite)(9-22-97)
  • From NASCAR Fans Newsletter and Mike Irwin and r/0 Grady: The Virginia Pilot, of Norfolk, Virginia, has a column today from Larry Bonko (Bonko is an national entertainment (television) columnist) which states: “Roush Racing of Liberty NC, says its multimillion-dollar deal with the Family Channel to sponsor driver Ted Musgrave in NASCAR competition will end in a few weeks. ……..it was no surprise… Since Rupert Murdoch, in league with Saban Entertainment, bought FAM the shakeups have
    measured 5.0 on the Richter scale. Layoffs at FAM’s Virginia Beach headquarters are numerous. And now comes word it’s adios to Musgrave and his #16 Ford Thunderbird, which hasn’t won a Winston Cup race.” After checking the Virginia Pilot home page (http://www.pilotonline.com), the story could not be found on the site anywhere yet, nor have I seen this anywhere else yet.(NASCAR Fans), it was announced back in July that Roush and the Family Channel had re-signed for 3 more years, not sure what happened there(9-22-97)
  • From iRace: “Sparky’s spies continue to hear grumblings within the Winston Cup Ford ranks about the Taurus. Although Rusty Wallace’s abbreviated test of the new model at Daytona wasn’t meant to put up big numbers, the Ford braintrust had to be a little concerned about the lack of performance there”(iRace)(9-22-97)
  • Jimmy Spencer will drive a Chevrolet sponsored by All Pro/Bumper To Bumper in the All Pro/Bumper To Bumper 300 NASCAR BGN series at Charlotte on 10/4(NASCAR Online)(9-22-97)


    (9-21-97)

  • Close Call and the #11 Brett Bodine driven Ford’s had a financial disagreement prior to the Dover weekend and is no longer on the car as a sponsor and was not on the car at all over the weekend. The #11 team is in a contract dispute with this year’s sponsor and have been advised to take all lettering off the car. The car is now solid black with only the yellow number 11 on the car. The team was in in plain uniforms this weekend as well.(NASCAR Online) Rumor in the garage area was Close Call owes the team $1 million dollars.(9-21-97)
  • Per TNN before the race, Morgan Shepherd will be in the #1 R&L Carriers Pontiac in 1998(9-21-97)
  • Another rumor has Lance Hooper being considered for the #43 STP Pontiac ride, by the way I was informed that I was incorrect about Hooper running for ROTY in 1998 as he ran 6 races in 1997, five with the #1 car and the Sonoma race with the #20 Ranier-Walsh Hardee’s team that is now defunct(9-21-97)
  • Jeff Burton started the #99 Exide Ford in the MBNA 400 at Dover on Sunday and stayed in the car for the whole race. Burton explains what the viral infection he had: “In layman’s terms, I have a virus that has attacked the nerve that sends the message from my inner ear to the brain,” said Burton. “A virus tears down the ability of that nerve to do what it is supposed to do. Through stimulating the nerve, it will become better just by doing everyday things. You can teach the nerve to do what it has got to do and that’s what I’m in the process of doing right now.(NASCAR Online)(9-21-97)
  • Lapped cars in the MBNA 200 lined up on the inside row for double-file restarts after cautions periods Saturday, bringing the Grand National series in line with the other 12 NASCAR divisions.(AP)(9-21-97)


    (9-19-97)

  • Per the AP and RPM2Nite: Washington-Erving Motorsports announced that Dr Pepper soda would sponsor their BGN team in 1998 with Jimmy Foster in the #50 Ford, still no plans on the WC team. Check out the news on Yahoo at Dr Pepper Sponsor’s NASCAR..(9-19-97)
  • John Andretti has a contract to drive for the #98 Cale Yarborough Ford team in 1998 and Andretti said he plans on staying there, RPM2Nite says RCA has not signed with the team yet, while some inside sources say they have signed, while even other sources say DW will sign with RCA so ????(9-19-97)
  • Saw a post on the news group r.a.s.n(rec.autos.sport.nascar) that said MCI was going to buy Brett Bodines team. This made no sense to me, so I emailed MCI and got this response: “Although at this point we cannot give away too many details about MCI’s NASCAR program for 1998, we can tell you this: 1997, MCI (The Official Telecom Company of NASCAR), spent a lot of time meeting with some of the biggest names in NASCAR concerning potential driver/team sponsorships. We are still in talks with a few
    of them, so we cannot comment their status. MCI was very aware of Mr. Bodine’s team and sponsor situation, and because of his popularity and talents he would obviously be considered for something short-term. However, as happens during silly season , rumors placed MCI and Geoff’s team at the bargaining table, which was not true. One thing is for sure for 1998 and that is that MCI will be a major player in the series.”, from
    MCI Racing, and “PS. To our knowledge, it was never on our Web site that we were negotiating with a specific team. Hope you found the site informative. If you are interested in receiving free news updates every two weeks, join our Fan Club. (its FREE).” pretty nice response.(9-19-97)
  • “Robert Pressley will assume the driver’s seat of the No. 77 for the remainder of the season.”(NASCAR Online)(9-19-97)
  • As announced here a few weeks back, Gil Martin is now crew chiefing the second Bill Davis team. #93 Pontiac with a sponsor who will be revealed later. Driver is Dave Blaney. I hear they may run some late season races in prep for the 1998 season(9-19-97)
  • The Buckshot Racing team announced Friday that it will compete in a limited number(8 per RPM2Nite) of NASCAR Winston Cup Series races in 1998 with Aquafresh(toothpaste) as primary sponsor of the #00 Pontiac. Jones plans to run a full schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1998, with sponsorship from Bayer Aspirin and Brunswick.(NASCAR Online)(9-19-97)
  • “Six teams will be forced to make the field on qualifying speed because they are not eligible for provisional starting spots. Richard Jackson’s No. 1 team has used all of their allotted provisionals and will not gain another one until the season’s final race in Atlanta, and only if they attempt to qualify for all the remaining races between now and then. Marcis(71), Wally Dallenbach(46) and the cars owned by Doug Bawel(77), Jim Wilson(78) and Joe Falk(91) are all out of the top-40 in car owner points and are not allowed to use provisionals to start the race. Ricky Craven has only one provisional remaining until the season’s end”(NASCAR Online), well the #1 is safely in the race with Morgan Shepherd, the #71 qualified 35th, #77 – 31st and the #78-37th. The #91 did not attempt the Dover race and is probably done for the 1997 season. Craven is safe also as he qualified 10th(9-19-97)
  • Todd Bodine practiced and qualified the #99 Exide Batteries Ford for Jeff Burton at Dover. Burton continues to suffer from an inner-ear problem that is causing him to experience bouts of vertigo. As with last week, Bodine will stand by to relieve Burton during Sunday’s race. Plans are for Burton to at least start the race(many sources)(9-19-97)
  • Steve Park is attempting to make the Dover WC race in the #14 Burger King Chevy, if he makes it, this would be his first WC oval race(NASCAR Online)(9-19-97)
  • “Fifteen Winston Cup teams are scheduled to participate in an open test session at Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday. Dale Jarrett, Sterling Marlin, Ricky Rudd, Brett Bodine, Darrell Waltrip, Ward Burton and Ernie Irvan are among those who plan to test in anticipation of UAW-GM Quality 500 Week. Open testing for Winston Cup is from 3pm to 10pm. Tuesday and from 9am to 5pm Wednesday. The grandstands will be open to the public during each practice session, free of charge. Approximately 5,000 spectator seats for the Oct. 5 UAW-GM Quality 500 were released for sale to the general public Friday. The speedway also announced the return of the “Draft Zone”, a $19 general admission alcohol-free area that can seat over 3,800 spectators.” (SpeedNet)(9-19-97)


    (9-18-97)

  • Truck news: I hear the Irvan-Simo truck team will definitely be Ford next year and they are looking at engine options as the team will not run Yates motors in 1998. Along with Irvan in a second Irvan-Simo truck, get this, Kyle Petty will be driving a third Irvan-Simo Truck at Fontana and that NO FEAR will be the sponsor on the truck(9-18-97)
  • I hear that the news about Mountain Dew and Darrell Waltrip is not true, still no word on any other sponsor possibilities for DW’s team, maybe the KFC thing?(9-18-97)
  • From Autoweek: Jack Roush said he asked twice, but Tommy Kendall turned down his truck ride. Kendall says he agreed to a 4 year deal, then was told Roush wanted to change the terms. When Kendall decided to go with the change, he was told it was too late(9-18-97)
  • As rumored here, Bill Ingle joins the #8 Circuit City Ford, Stavola Bros team and while it has not been confirmed the team is expected to switch to Chevy in 1998(WC Scene)(9-18-97)
  • Per the Winston Cup Scene Dave Marcis still plans to drive in the WC series in 1998 but is considering retiring after the 1998 season(9-18-97)


    (9-17-97)

  • The AP reports that Bud Moore will field a car for Greg Sacks in the UAW-GM Qualify 500 on Oct. 5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway(NASCAR fans)(9-17-97)
  • QVC will be leaving the Geoff Bodine driven #7 Ford after the 1997 season(RPM2Nite)(9-17-97)
  • I still hear Jerry Nadeau will be in the second Bill Elliott Ford, #92 sponsored by RCA in 1998 WC action(9-17-97)
  • “Derrike Cope, who owns two career victories including the 1990 Daytona 500, signed a three-year contract Tuesday to drive for Chuck Rider’s Bahari Racing team on NASCAR’s Winston Cup circuit. Cope will replace Johnny Benson Jr., who is leaving to take a ride with the multi-car Roush Racing team, in the No. 30 Pontiac. Cope, in turn, is being replaced next season in Nelson Bowers’ No. 36 Pontiac(duh…not Ford) by Ernie Irvan. Michael Waltrip drove for Rider for nine years before being replaced in 1996 by Benson, who won rookie of the year honors. Cope, 39, signed a three-year deal with Bahari, which is tied for 11th in the season standings. Rider also announced the team has hired chassis builder Steve Leavitt to oversee its new chassis-building effort.”(NandoNet)(9-17-97)
  • I hear Ernie Irvan has decided to race his #28 Federated Auto Parts Ford Truck at Fontana on Oct 18th(9-17-97)
  • “Bud Moore Engineering, one of the oldest and most successful teams in NASCAR history, will return to the Winston Cup series with an entry in next month’s UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Morgan Shepherd, who recently left the Jasper Engines team(#77), will drive Moore’s Ford. The financially strapped Moore closed the doors of his race shop after failing to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500. The team is still unsponsored, but the younger Moore said he and his father are working on a full-time sponsor for 1998.”)NandoNet/AP)(9-17-97)
  • But…..” Veteran Morgan Shepherd of Conover, N.C., will rejoin Richard Jackson’s R&L Carriers/Precision Products Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Series team(#1 Pontiac) for the final seven races of 1997, according to team manager Eddie Jones.”(NASCAR Online)(9-17-97)
  • I hear that Darrell Waltrip’s team will be sponsored by Mountain Dew in 1998 with the announcement coming at Charlotte in October(9-17-97)
  • I hear Washington/Erving Motorsports are negotiating to buy the #77 Jasper Ford team out.(9-17-97)
  • by the way DuPont has a signed agreement thru the year 2000 with the #24 team, so much for those Nike rumors, maybe as an associate(9-17-97)


    (9-16-97)

  • Junior Johnson will be the Grand Marshall for the 9-28 Winston Cup race at Martinsville(9-16-97)(GVA)
  • Derrike Cope officially announced to replace Johnny Benson in the #30 Bahari Pontiac owned by Chuck Rider in 1998. Cope is scheduled to be on RPM2Nite on Wednesday to talk about his new gig(RPM2Nite)(9-16-97)
  • “Crew chief Buddy Parrott expects Jeff Burton to be ready to go all 400 miles in Sunday’s Winston Cup MBNA 400 at Dover, DE”(in the #99 Exide Ford). ” Burton, suffering from an inner-ear disorder that disrupted his equilibrium, drove until the first yellow flag Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway, then turned his Ford over to Todd Bodine. Burton, fourth in the Winston Cup standings, went to Duke University Hospital in Durham on Monday to have the ear checked. Parrott said doctors now think Burton did have an inner-ear infection that medicine didn’t clear up in time. Burton was scheduled to compete in Saturday’s Grand National race in Dover, too, but he will not do so. The team will replace that race on its Grand National schedule by competing next month at Rockingham.”(Charlotte Observer)(9-16-97)
  • I hear Morgan Shepherd is back in the #1 R&L Carriers Pontiac and Lance Hooper has been released from the Richard Jackson owned team(9-16-97)
  • Todd Bodine will be the stand in driver at Dover for Jeff Burton if Burton does not feel good enough to race. Burton plans to practice, qualify and start the race, but may need relief. Per RPM2Nite, Doctors say Burton is probably suffering from a viral infection and performed an MRI on Burton Tuesday with results not available until Wednesday(9-16-97)
  • Robert Pressley will again be in the #77 Jasper Engines Ford for the MBNA 400 at Dover this coming weekend(9-16-97)
  • Sources tell me that Hendrick Motorsports will NOT start a fourth WC team and the Truck team will stay intact for 1998(9-16-97)
  • “Bobby Allison was mauled by a dog Friday during a trip to
    Baltimore and had to spend a day-and-a-half in the hospital getting stitched up.”(JournalNow), best wishes Bobby, get well soon!(9-16-97)
  • Times-Dispatch Staff Writer Skip Wood writes that there is no word yet on #99 Exide Ford driver Jeff Burton’s status for Dover’s race Sunday 9-21. His run last weekend at New Hampshire was truncated by design because of an inner-ear problem, and Burton remains bugged by it. He was examined by a specialist Monday(9-15) at Duke Medical Center and is scheduled for another exam Tuesday(9-16)(GVA)(9-16-97)
  • “Bill Elliott did a photo shoot at Atlanta’s new layout last week, and Bobby Labonte is scheduled to run Goodyear’s test next week. The redesigned track should be faster, and engineers are looking at their Texas tires as the compound.”(JournalNow)(9-16-97)


    (9-15-97)

  • “RCA is considering switching their sponsorship from Cale Yarborough’s team to a second Bill Elliott team, with cars to be driven by rookie Jerry Nadeau out of Elliott’s Dawsonville shops. Nadeau has been rumored to be in a second Elliott car in 1998, but no official word has been given yet. Elliott’s team, headed by Mike Beam, will remain in Statesville”(JournalNow), Jayski note: I hear the Jerry Nadeau part is a done deal and that Dan Marino will become a part-owner of the Elliott team(9-15-97)
  • Heard a rumor that the #19 Tri-Star team that has closed up shop for 1997 and is selling off it’s Ford stock will switch to Pontiac in 1998. This makes sense since owner Mark Smith is building engines for the new #35 Tabasco Pontiac team that Todd Bodine will drive in 1998(9-15-97)
  • “Chevrolet teams are expected to get a little more spoiler in the next few weeks, anywhere from an eighth-of-an-inch to a quarter-inch, perhaps in time for next week’s race at Dover. GM officials say they need at least a half-inch more to become competitive with Fords.”(JournalNow)(9-15-97)
  • “Brunswick Corporation will announce soon their sponsorship of Buckshot Jones in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1998. An announcement is expected in the coming weeks. Jones is currently sponsored by Aqua Fresh.”(Speedworld), I assume this is either an associate or in-part with Bayer/Alka-Seltzer who have announced plans to sponsor the #00 BGN team in 1998(9-15-97)
  • Autoweek reports that the proposed American StockCar Championship for stock-body cars has been cancelled. This was the series Andy Evans, owner of SportsCar series, wanted to start in 1998. Evans also owns part of the #11 Brett Bodine Ford.(9-15-97)
  • “Richard Petty is looking at Robby Gordon as one of the top prospects for his Pontiac next season, according to the team, even though Gordon is considered a high-priced driver. But Gordon is still looking for a part-time Winston Cup deal — he’s interested in a 14- or 15-race schedule that would give him time to run for an Indy-car team also. But Petty isn’t interested in a part-time driver. Andy Petree says he’s still trying to put together such a package for Gordon, but Petree says he’s much more interested in a full-time package. If Petty can’t get Gordon, John Andretti is also a possible driver. Two long-shots: Mike Stefanik and Mike Bliss.”(JournalNow), Jayski note: This seems doubtful, Stefanik and Bliss are new rumors, how about Tommy Kendall who recently was considered for the 3rd Roush truck team but they could not agree on terms(9-15-97)
  • As rumored here recently: “David Evans, considered one of the top engine men on the tour, has split with Kyle Petty and is now working the marketplace for a new team. His first call was to car owner Richard Childress.”(JournalNow)(9-15-97)
  • As rumored here: “Ward Burton is expected to sign a new contract with car owner Bill Davis(#22 MBNA Pontiac) this week, according to sources close to the team. And Derrike Cope and Chuck Rider are expected to sign their new contract today, according to team sources.”(JournalNow), the Ward news makes sense, perfect timing for a press conference at Dover where MBNA is the sponsor of the race(9-15-97)
  • BGN driver and wife of Elton Sawyer “Patti Moise is expected to return to the Grand National tour full-time next season, as Michael Waltrip’s teammate in a two-car operation, according to sources close to Moise.”(JournalNow)(9-15-97)


    (9-14-97)

  • During the race Sunday, the announcers mentioned that Chuck Rider, owner of the #30 Pontiac will announce on Tuesday or Wednesday, his new driver and they speculated that it would be Derrike Cope. Also mentioned that the #30 team would build their own chassis in 1998(9-14-97)
  • Mentioned during the CMT 300 is that #81 Square-D Ford owner Filbert Martocci said that Kenny Wallace and sponsor Square-D would be back with the team in 1998(9-14-97)
  • I hear Ernie Irvan may be lobbying to have Ryan Pemberton replaced as crew chief on the #36 for 1998, maybe with Marc Reno(present #28 crew chief and close friend of EI), but I hear the team is looking for more experience anyway(9-14-97)
  • In order to fill the field at NHIS, NASCAR resorted to the 1996 Final car owner points. The #77 team ranked highest in last year’s standings among the teams with available provisionals to use(NASCAR Online)(9-14-97)
  • Per Raceday, Buckshot Jones plans on running the NAPA 500 WC race in Atlanta in Novemeber(9-14-97)
  • The Grand Marshal of the inaugural CMT 300 this weekend is Mike Staley, former president of North Wilkesboro Speedway. Staley sold his half interest in North Wilkesboro Speedway to the Bahre family, giving up the race date at the historic North Carolina short track in lieu of racing a second time this season at New Hampshire. The race is dedicated to Staley’s father, Enoch, founder of the North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1947.(NASCAR Online)(9-14-97)


    (9-13-97)

  • “NASCAR issued a bulletin yesterday that Las Vegas’ new speedway would not be available for Winston Cup practice the week after the Phoenix race, and a number of teams are upset. ”We all have to test there, and now we’ll just have to make a separate trip all the way out west sometime in January,” Parrott said. ”It would make a lot more sense to let us test there the day after Phoenix.””(JournalNow)(9-13-97)
  • Ricky Craven comments on rumors about leaving the #25 Bud team at end of the season from NASCAR Online: “I certainly have no intention of leaving. The Hendrick team and the No. 25 Budweiser ride are exactly what I’ve worked 16 years for. I’ve raced 15 years for that particular opportunity. Although things haven’t gone as well as I’d liked, I’m not giving up on it. Rick Hendrick is one of the finest people I’ve ever met, and I must say it would be more difficult if he weren’t in the equation, but I have all intentions of staying where I’m at. I have a two-year contract and enjoying a much better ’98 with Budweiser and Hendrick Motorsports.”(9-13-97)
  • “Chuck Rider followed quickly the news that Johnny Benson has signed with Jack Roush by saying that he had signed a new driver, whose name he will reveal on Wednesday(9-17). The new driver is expected to be Derrike Cope, who has been a top candidate for the Julius Erving team.”(JournalNow)(9-13-97)
  • All Roush WC and BGN teams will drive Fords in 1998(9-13-97)
  • Oops…wrong(on two things). Looks like Loudon will be the last attempt of the season for the #91 LJ Racing Chevy. Pionite did not extend for Martinsville as previously reported and although LJ Racing was considering going to Martinsville without a sponsor, they decided not to go. So that rumor of Stacey Compton trying for the Martinsville race with the #91 will not happen(9-13-97)
  • Per RPM2Nite, Jeff Burton hopes to start the NHIS CMT 300 and hopes to make it to the first caution before making a driver switch. He may go all the way if he feels better Sunday morning, he was 23rd fastest in happy hour practice(9-13-97)
  • Jeff Burton is recovering from the inner-ear infection that forced him to miss Busch Pole Qualifying and practice. He is questionable for Sunday’s race and will attempt to run a couple of laps by himself in “happy hour” practice late Saturday afternoon. (NASCAR Online) Todd Bodine will stand by to sub for Burton if he can not go on Sunday. The JournalNow reports that whatever happens Burton will start the car to gain the valuable WC points as the team is in 4th place in the WC points(9-13-97)
  • “With Morgan Shepherd now out of Doug Bawel’s Ford, Robert Pressley gets another crack at the Winston Cup tour, in a one-shot deal here this weekend. Shepherd and Bawel had failed to qualify for five of the last six races.(JournalNow), the #77 took a provisional(9-13-97)
  • There was only one ‘casualty’ to report following two rounds of morning practice(Friday) at NHIS. Canadian driver Randy MacDonald spun and crashed his No. 79 Trix Racing Ford in Turn 1. Having no backup car and damage too extensive to repair in the short time between practice and qualifying, the team withdrew from the event.(NASCAR Online)(9-13-97)
  • From Chaz Hinkle: “Spent the morning yesterday at the #97 shop producing some video with Chad Little for an NBC affiliate… While poking around the shop floor, two things caught my eye: A #97 John Deere T-BIRD, and, under a cover in the back part of the shop, a #99 Exide car… Looks like they are sharing info already… The #97
    T-bird was kinda suspicious looking though… It looked like sheetmetal from about a ’95 template, with the real high nose on it, not the current, much sleeker hoodline that’s currently on the Fords… I suspect this car could just be a show car… Oh, and Mary, the receptionist, is now answering the phone as “Rousch Racing…”(9-13-97)
  • BGN Rumors: the #34 BGN Chevy will not have Royal Oak as a sponsor in 1998 and Gould Pumps a present associate may assume that role as primary. Also the driver to replace Todd Bodine in the #36 could be Matt Hutter, the son of engine builder Ron
    Hutter who builds the engines for Team 34.(9-13-97)
  • I hear the #75 Remington Ford will change paint schemes and become orange with a red stripe. Don’t know if this is one-race deal or where the change will take effect or if it will be Remington or one of their products(9-13-97)
  • Six drivers who totaled nine wins in 1996 have not scored a victory in 1997. Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, Marlin, Geoff Bodine, Hamilton and Bobby Labonte all posted victories last year but have not made it to winner’s circle this season.(NASCAR Online notes)(9-13-97)


    (9-12-97)

  • I hear that Craftsman Truck driver, Stacey Compton will be offered a one race Winston Cup ride for Martinsville not sure what team(9-12-97)
  • Derrick Cope will replace Johnny Benson in the 30 car next year. The contract expired on the Dr. J’s team in getting a sponsor and this released Cope to pursue other options.(Speedworld/NASCAR fans)(9-12-97)
  • Johnny Benson’s contract with Bahari’ Racing was bought out by Roush Racing. No word on a specific $$ amount, but you can bet it wasn’t cheap.(Speedworld/NASCAR fans)(9-12-97)
  • The Circuit City Ford will be switching to Chevrolet sheet metal for next year. Evidently the team is not big on the idea of racing the Taurus.(Speedworld/NASCAR fans), rumored here months ago(9-12-97)
  • Jeff Burton, winner of the July race at New Hampshire International Speedway, was forced to miss Friday’s practice and first-round qualifying for the CMT 300 because of an inner ear infection. Burton was at the track in the morning, but left without getting in his Roush Racing Ford. He was examined by doctors at Concord Hospital and hopes to race Sunday. Meanwhile, Todd Bodine, who does not have a regular Winston Cup
    ride this season, was asked to fill in for Burton on Friday,
    qualifying the car and beginning the process of setting it up for the race.(AP-thanks ASAFan), Bodine qualified 44th(9-12-97)
  • Congratulations to Larry and Linda McReynolds on the birth of their third child, Mary Kendall, who was born Sept. 6 at University Hospital in Charlotte.(WCS/NASCAR fans) Larry is of course the crew chief for the #3 GM Service Plus Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt(9-12-97)
  • BGN Note: McFarland Motorsports Inc. with driver Mark McFarland, has signed a 5 race deal for 1998 on the BGN circuit with Carolina Boots as the primary sponsor in a Chevy(9-12-97)
  • Ads noticed by a few readers in the Winston Cup Scene this week: 9 – 1997 Winston Cup Grand Prix’s – for sale, offered by Dave Jenson Enterprises(Chad Little’s cars) and a Ford Winston Cup team selling ALL 1997 cars also two new chassis ready for bodies. Offered by Kranefuss-Hass Racing. hmm…new chassis(their own), because of the Taurus body style or a manufacturer switch. But with Kranefuss’s ties to Ford, I can’t believe they are changing(thanks Matt & Greg)(9-12-97)


    (9-11-97)

  • As announced here back in May, the #28 Texaco Havoline RYR Ford Thunderbird will run the 1987 colors at Talladega(and as the team did at the Coke 600(499.5)). To see the car, go to Jayski’s Ernie Irvan Page(9-11-97)
  • Johnny Benson will be in the #26 Jack Roush Ford Taurus in 1998 as announced earlier. The entire 5 car Roush team will be Ford’s including the #97 John Deere car driven by Chad Little(NASCAR Online). I hear General Mill will be the sponsor on the new Roush/Benson Ford team in 1998, I hear it will be Cheerios, Wheaties and Pop Secret(popcorn) in some sort of revolving product deal(General Mills will be the sponsor just not sure what product)(9-11-97)


    (9-10-97)

  • If you get the chance, check out this funny story by Bob Zeller about Hut Stricklin called Hangin’ with Hut, I found it quite enjoyable(Greensboro News & Record)(sorry I screwed up the link yesterday)(9-10-97)
  • The California Speedway has a new 42 position scoring pylon, bigger than the one at Indy, it looks pretty cool(RPM2Nite)(9-10-97)
  • Robert Pressley will have his BGN crew chief, Steve Plattenberger when he drives the #77 Jasper Ford in the WC race at NHIS this weekend. The team plans on running 5 WC races in 1998. The team also has a big sponsorship announcement at Charlotte in October(RPM2Nite)(9-10-97)
  • I hear the IRL (Indy Racing League) went to Dover to TALK about a date, not test.(wow, those cars would fly around that track). However, Robby Gordon did test at Dover Downs on Monday & Tuesday(9-8/9) since he missed the spring race. He hit the wall in turn #1 on Monday, no idea what damage was caused to the car and obvious Gordon was ok since he tested there Tuesday(9-10-97)


    (9-9-97)

  • NEW RULES: Pontiac’s finally get a rules break: Rear Spoilers go from 6 1/4″ to 6 1/2″ and Front Air Dam goes from 3 3/4″ to 3 1/2″ starting at New Hampshire(RPM2Nite)(9-9-97)
  • RPM2Nite reports that Johnny Benson will leave the #30 Pennzoil Pontiac after this season and drive a yet un-named(Cheerios?) team and sponsor in a Jack Roush owned team, Roush sources declined comment. #30 owner Chuck Rider says he expects his team to be strong in 1998 with a new driver(un-named), no mention of these rumored law-suits we have been hearing about(9-9-97)
  • I hear it is a done deal with Jerry Nadeau getting the WC ride in the second Bill Elliott team car for 1998, so he’ll run for rookie of the year also(9-9-97)
  • “Ward Burton is set to re-sign with car owner Bill Davis any day now”(iRace)(9-9-97)
  • As for Andretti still being mentioned is that RCA has NOT yet signed with the #98 team for 1998 and that may allow Andretti to look around(9-9-97)
  • Rumors about that TBA on Kevin LePages #88 BGN Chevy is that the sponsor will be Ryder and they may attempt 5 WC races in 1998(9-9-97)
  • Per NASCAR Online chat with Brett Bodine talking about his sponsor: “As of right now, we have another two years left on our Close Call sponsorship contract. But, we’re not sure if that contract is going to be honored. We’re in the process of looking for other sponsorships right now.”(9-9-97)
  • Forgot to mention that Bill Elliott got to take the first laps around the newly configured Atlanta Motor Speedway on Monday and turned in laps around 185mph. He said it was very similar to Charlotte, a tad more banked and lots of room to pass, he seemed to like it a great deal(RPM2Nite)(9-9-97)
  • “Discount those rumors that crew chief Robbie Loomis will follow Bobby Hamilton to the Morgan-McClure Chevrolet”(iRace)and the team is down to two drivers to take Hamiliton’s place but no names mentioned(RPM2Nite), rumors include Kenny Wallace, Ward Burton, John Andretti and Loy Allen(9-9-97)
  • “Car owner Andy Petree still has hopes of forming a second team, possibly with Robby Gordon as the driver”(iRace)(9-9-97)
  • Pionite has extended for an additional race of sponsorship of the #91 Chevy and they will attempt Martinsville, no driver named yet for that race(9-9-97)
  • Kenny Irwin and Rick Mast practiced at Martinsville on Monday, Irwin was in the #27 and the #28 was on the track at the same time not sure if it was Ernie Irvan or Joe Ruttman, who was shown with Yates and Irwin and was in his LCI drivers suit(RPM2Nite)(9-9-97)


    (9-8-97)

  • BGN driver Kevin LaPage will attempt to make the NHIS race in the #91 Pionite Chevy(RPM2Nite)(9-8-97)
  • Morgan Shepherd has been released from the #77 Jasper Ford and Robert Pressley will be driving the #77 in New Hampshire this weekend and will be on a race to race deal.(RPM2Nite) Shepherd may end up in the #15 on a limited basis(9-8-97)
  • Steve Park will attempt to make the NHIS in the #14 Burger King Chevy(9-8-97)
  • I hear US Tobacco(UST) will double it budget with the Petree team and bring on board Copenhagen(Sister company to Skoal) as a sponsor of a second car with Robby Gordon as the driver(9-8-97)
  • “Budweiser officials continue to insist that there will be no changes in their NASCAR team sponsorships next year, that Ricky Craven will again be the Bud-sponsored driver on the Winston Cup tour in a Rick Hendrick Chevy. However, reports continue to circulate in the garage that changes may be coming, the latest that Bobby Labonte may get a Bud sponsorship next season. Craven has scheduled a press conference today at which he may address the issue. ” (JournalNow), This will hopefully put the rumor to bed, which has been a rumor for about two months here (9-8-97)
  • “Robby Gordon’s proposed CART Indy-car deal for next season has fallen through, according to sources close to the situation, and Gordon this weekend is back in negotiations with Andy Petree to drive as Kenny Schrader’s teammate in a two-car team in 1998.”(JournalNow),as rumored here last week(9-8-97)
  • Richard Petty’s search for a new driver may now be focusing on Kenny Wallace, according to sources close to the Petty team. John Andretti has been rumored to be joining the Petty team, but that rumor has died down as of late.(Speedworld), this is new(9-8-97)
  • Bill Davis plans to add a Busch Series team in 1998, with sprint star Dave Blaney at the wheel of an Amoco-sponsored Pontiac, according to sources close to the deal. Davis may be ready to offer Ward Burton a new Winston Cup contract this week for the 1998 season.(Speedworld), both rumored here a few weeks back(9-8-97)
  • Chaz Hinkle talked with Benny Parsons today and reports what the 1999 schedule might look like: Once the new track in Kansas City is built, Darlington will give up its spring race date, and that date will go to Kansas City, likely for the 1999 schedule. The reason? NASCAR really wants the Kansas City track to have a date, but they are unwilling to arbitrarily yank a date from a non-NASCAR/France owned track… ergo, Darlington is on the chopping block because of the France owned tracks,
    it is the smallest.(9-8-97)
  • Saw a rare good news item on the news group rec.autos.sports.nascar(r.a.s.n): “Washington Erving Motorsports was ready to surprise the racing community by unveiling their BGN car at Darlington last week but their title sponsor failed to sign by the deadline. This team is searching for a sponsor for a few of the remaining 1997 BGN
    races. It would be nice to see a preview of WEM team before Daytona in 1998.” Haven’t found it anywhere else(9-8-97)
  • “Engine man David Evans(and part owner) may be leaving Kyle Petty’s team at the end of the season, according to sources close to the team.”(JournalNow)(9-8-97)


    (9-6-97)

  • Ricky Craven gets new number in 1998 The Hendrick Motorsports/Ricky Craven Budweiser team will have a slightly different look in 1998. Ricky Craven will pilot the #50 Budweiser Chevrolet in 1998, not the usual #25. The reason for the change?
    Budweiser will be celebrating NASCAR’s 50th anniversary.(Speedworld)(9-6-97)
  • I hear Fuji Film is looking to sponsor a team in either Winston Cup or BGN next year(9-6-97)
  • Eight of the nine drivers who did not make the fastest 38 cars in first round qualifying attempted second round qualifying, Mike Bliss was the fastest 2nd round qualifier at 121.387mph(slower than the 1st round) which make him eligible for the pre-Bud Shootout race, no idea if he’ll attempt it or not. Dave Marcis did not make an attempt a second round qualifying try. Of the other 8, #’s 11-Bodine, 31-Skinner, 1-Hooper and 97-Little used provisionals, the remaining 4, #’s 91-Hornaday, 77-Shepherd, 02-Bliss, and 78-Bradberry missed the show. The #1 team was out of provisionals coming into this race weekend. After attempting 1st and 2nd round qualifying, the team earned an additional provisional, which was used to make the the race. The #1 team will not earn another provisional until it attempts to qualify for eight more races, making the team ineligible for a provisional until the last race of the season at Atlanta. Gary and I thought you had to make the race to get a provisional, so Gary is updating the page and making adjustments accordingly. (thanks Henry of NASCAR fans for pointing this out and getting me the info on 2nd round qualifying)) I found this info on NASCAR Online: “Teams start the year with six provisionals that can be used as necessary based on where they currently rank in the top-40 NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner points. After each eight attempts to qualify, regardless of whether the team makes the race, the car owner will earn an additional provisional.”, for more info on the provisionals see Jayski’s Provisional Page(9-6-97)


    (9-5-97)

  • Robby Gordon, being interviewed during qualifying, said his CART deal with Barry Green’s “Team Green” has fell through and he is basically a free agent. When asked, he just said he wanted to go to a team that could win and run at the front, didn’t seem to care if it would be IRL. CART or Cup(ESPN)(9-5-97)
  • Contrary to reports I have heard: Look for there to be a change at the 25 car. Rick Craven gone or Bud gone.(NASCAR Fans)(9-5-97)
  • Dale Earnhardt has been cleared by Doctors and NASCAR to drive in Richmond on Saturday night 9-6(many, many sources), I put all the news. reports and rumors on a little section below, after the news(9-5-97)
  • From what I hear, rumors of Rick Mast leaving the #75 to go to the #43 STP car are false(9-5-97)
  • Kenny Irwin is in the yellow #27 Tonka/Action David Blair owned Ford with a Yates engine, and he qualified 2nd(ESPN)(9-5-97)
  • Clyde Booth who was serving as Team Manager for Mark Rypien Motorsports and the #97 John Deere Pontiac driven by Chad Little as been released(WC Scene)(9-5-97)
  • BGN driver Phil Parsons and sponsor Channellock have elected not to continue their sponsorship for 1998. Both Parsons and Channellock made the joint announcement citing current individual needs to move forward with future plans.(NASCAR Online)(9-5-97)


    (9-4-97)

  • Sources tell me there is no truth to Robert Yates Racing(RYR) going to a three car team in 1998(9-4-97)
  • Former RYR Crew Member, Joey Knuckles has been hired as Team Manager for the #5 Kellogg’s team after he was let go by the team a few weeks back(9-4-97)
  • Derrike Cope will make his 300th Winston Cup start at Richmond Saturday(NASCAR Online)(9-4-97)
  • In the Sept. 2, 1997 issue of the Daytona Beach News Journal, they confirm Jimmy Foster has signed with Washington/Erving. Kathy Thompson, president of race operations for the team, hopes to get a jump on next season by running some races late this year. Also, says Derrike Cope is the likely choice for the team’s Cup ride.(Thanks Cuz)(9-4-97)
  • In this month’s issue of “Racer” magazine has an interview with T. Wayne Robertson of R.J. Reynolds and he said that as the tobacco settlement stands right now Winston will no longer be able to sponsor NASCAR or the NHRA after 1998. Of course it has to go through Congress and changes will be made to the bill(thanks Jed)(9-4-97)
  • This rumor never made it to me or the page: Geoff Bodine said there is no truth to the rumors that his team is shutting down or that his new majority owners, Jim Mattei and John Porter, are trying to depose him as driver. “People have left here. Probably some more will leave here,” he said. “But this place is not shutting down. This place is not trying to get rid of Geoff Bodine.”(Greensboro News & Record from NASCAR Fans)(9-4-97)
  • An update on Dale Earnhardt: “A “migraine-like event” probably caused Dale Earnhardt to fall asleep at the wheel of his race car last weekend, a doctor who performed tests on the driver said Thursday. Dr. Charles Branch of the neurosurgery department at Bowman Gray Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., notified NASCAR that he has cleared the seven-time Winston Cup champion to race this weekend. “The episode last weekend in all likelihood was a peculiar form of a migraine-like event that caused a brief period of altered mental function,” Branch said. He said the incident also could be the result of a small bruise on the brain from an earlier incident. In last Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C., Earnhardt twice fell asleep at the wheel while waiting for the race to start. He then wrecked on the first lap and had trouble finding his way back to pit road. Branch’s clearance came after Earnhardt underwent four days of testing at two hospitals. The results were reviewed by specialists at two other hospitals, then sent to the circuit’s headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla.” From Tribune Online-AP(9-4-97)
  • From the AP via Nando Net: “Dale Earnhardt was medically cleared today to race after tests failed to show why the star driver fell asleep during last weekend’s Southern 500. NASCAR did not say what caused Earnhardt’s sleepiness or what Dr. Charles Branch of Bowman Gray Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., had found. The racing body said questions about Earnhardt’s condition would be answered at a news conference Friday. The 46-year-old driver received approval to compete in an announcement at Richmond International Raceway, site of Saturday night’s Exide Select Batteries 400. “If the doctors say he’s good to go, then he’s good to go as far as we’re concerned,” said NASCAR spokesman Kevin Triplett, adding he didn’t know the results of the tests Earnhardt has undergone.” See the story at Earnhardt Get’s OK.. and the story at NASCAR Online(9-4-97)


    (9-3-97)

  • “Chuck Rider of Bahri racing has attained attorneys and if Benson leaves for Roush we will sue. He is even looking at getting a restraining order to keep other teams from talking to him.”(NASCAR Fans), partially reported here a few days back(9-4-97)
  • Lee Morse, former Team Manager of Geoff Bodine Racing, has been named to Irvan-Simo Racing, Ernie Irvan’s Truck Team(#44 and #28)(RPM2Nite)(9-3-97)
  • “Cale Yarborough says he has John Andretti under contract through the year 2000, putting doubt into Richard Petty’s hopes of acquiring his former driver to replace the departing Bobby Hamilton”(iRace)(9-3-97)
  • “Car owner Andy Petree is still considering forming a second team, possibly with Robby Gordon as the driver”(iRace)(9-3-97)
  • The purse for next month’s UAW-GM Teamwork 500 at Charlotte was announced today: $2,450,694.00(thanks Chaz Hinkle)(9-3-97)
  • Per iRace and Brian Hoagland(who is loaded with lots of info today): Ricky “Rudd is still weighing his options over a possible return to GM”(iRace)(9-3-97)
  • The 1998 Winston Cup Schedule has been released and can be seen on NASCAR Online at 1998 WC Schedule. Among the ‘highlights’ are: Las Vegas added on March 1; Sonoma and Fontana dates flip-flopped; Richmond moved to June 6(night); New Hampshire moved from Mid-Sept to Aug 30; Also for the third consecutive year, the 1998 schedule also will include a trip to Japan, this time with a two-race stop. Next year’s first Pacific Rim event will be at the 1.4-mile Suzuka Circuit road course in Suzuka City, 250-miles south of Tokyo. The second stop will be at the Twin Ring Motegi, a 1.49-mile oval that recently celebrated its opening.(NASCAR Online) Also the last race of the season has been moved up a week and the week off in between Phoenix and Atlanta is no longer(9-3-97)
  • The #91 Pionite Chevy will use Earnhardt motors(from the team #14 shop) at Richmond for qualifying and the race, of course Hornaday will be driving the #91 Chevy, so there is the connection, I hear Hornaday is also trying to get NAPA, his Truck sponsor, to jump aboard as an associate sponsor, who already is an associate on the #99 Ford(9-3-97)
  • I am hearing many Elliott second team rumors, one has Jerry Nadeau in the car(not sure if it’s BGN or WC), I hear Ron Barfield is out of any Elliott rides in 1998, no idea why. Another rumor has Tim Steele(who uses Ernie Elliott engines) in a second team Elliott car, but other sources tell me he will still start his own family owned team and continue use of Elliott engines in 1998(9-3-97)
  • “After missing Sunday’s Southern 500 with a broken shoulder, rookie David Green hopes to be back in the driver’s seat for the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night. Green said he expects to be in Saturday night’s race, but just in case, he will have Todd Bodine standing by as a relief driver. Bodine drove for Green at Darlington.”(iRace)(9-3-97)
  • #43 STP Pontiac “Crew chief Robbie Loomis says he’s staying put at Petty Enterprises, despite rumors to the contrary.”(iRace)(9-3-97)
  • Chaz Hinkle reports: “AP is reporting that NASCAR will announce sometime Thursday morning(9-4-97) whether or not Dale Earnhardt will be allowed to drive this weekend at Richmond. All medical tests have come back negative at this time.”(9-3-97)
  • Per RPM2Nite: Still no official plans from NASCAR on if Dale Earnhardt will be able to race on Saturday in Richmond(9-3-97)
  • Excerpts from a JournalNow story by Mike Mulhern about Dale Earnhardt: “Dale Earnhardt’s health, never questioned before, is suddenly a most serious issue after his unexplained collapse in his race car in the opening moments of Sunday’s Southern 500 in Darlington. Richard Childress, Earnhardt’s car owner, and Don Hawk, his business manager, both said yesterday that he will probably have to sit out Saturday’s Miller 400 in Richmond. Did Earnhardt have a stroke? His symptoms certainly indicate that as a possibility. Kevin Triplett, a spokesman for NASCAR, said that the sanctioning body is waiting for a clear OK from a doctor before allowing Earnhardt back into the car.”, see the rest of the story at The JournalNow(9-3-97)
  • “Medical tests have found no cause for Dale Earnhardt’s health problems during the Southern 500, and the seven-time Winston Cup champion was waiting for NASCAR clearance Wednesday to resume racing. Doctors at two hospitals examined Earnhardt over a four-day period that ended Wednesday morning with a final battery of tests, race team spokesman David Allen said. The information was shared with doctors at two other hospitals, giving the driver opinions from specialists at four institutions. The medical reports were forwarded to NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla., where officials of the sanctioning body for stock car racing were reviewing them Wednesday night.”(AP)(9-3-97)


    (9-2-97)

  • “Ford’s NASCAR race car of the future, the Taurus, took its first laps Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway, with Rusty Wallace and Bill Elliott taking the wheel of the Penske Racing South-built prototype. No specific times were reported, but Wallace did get the car into the 49-second bracket(Skinner ran a 47.415 in 2/97) in the afternoon before wrapping up the session.”(iRace) for more of the story see Taurus Makes Testing Debut(9-2-97)
  • Ron Hornaday will be attempting to race the #91 LJ Racing Pionite Chevy at the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 in Richmond this weekend. He replaces Greg Sacks at least for this one race, not sure of LJ Racings future plans for a driver(RPM2Nite)(9-2-97)
  • As far as I know after an exhaustive search of the Internet and watching RPM2Nite, Earnhardt has not been cleared to drive by either NASCAR or the Doctors. But I hear Kevin Triplett (NASCAR’s spokesman) has told reporters that NASCAR will not clear Dale Earnhardt to drive until they have some medical explanations for what happened Sunday at Darlington. But with an army of doctors from throughout the South on the case, I would expect a medical explanation soon(9-2-97)
  • Latest Update: Earnhardt fell asleep at wheel twice, too long to condense properly, didn’t want to take anything out of context(AP-CNNSI)(9-2-97)


    (9-1-97)

  • I hear Chuck Rider, owner of the #30 Pennzoil Pontiac, has served legal notice to
    General Mills and Jack Roush that Johnny Benson is not available until 1999 and then he has first right of refusal after that. His legal notice to General Mills and Jack Roush told them point blank to cease and desist from any further contact with Johnny or there will be a major interferance of contractual business suit filed against both of them. From what I hear there are several high powered attorneys working on this.(9-1-97)
  • I hear Morgan Shepherd may be out of the #77 Jasper Ford soon, possibly to the #15(9-1-97)
  • “Don’t be surprised if Richmond-based Heilig-Meyers announces before the end of September that it plans to renew its association with the team owned by Richmond’s Junie Donlavey. Heilig-Meyers hooked up with Donlavey in 1993, and sources indicate the company is looking at an extension of at least two years.”(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(9-1-97)
  • Jeff Gordon who won the Winston Million at Darlington is donating $100,000 of the prize to the charity that finds bone marrow donors, 1-800-MARROW2(9-1-97)
  • The #95 Shoney’s Inn Chevy driven by Ed Berrier will attempt to make the races at Talladega and Atlanta and plan to run a full season in 1998 and run Berrier in the Rookie of the Year race with Kenny Irwin, Jr and Steve Park(9-1-97)
  • A few sources tell me Ron Barfield will not be with Bill Elliott in any capacity in 1998(9-1-97)
  • Craftsman Truck regular, Mike Bliss, will attempt to make the Richmond Winston Cup race, 9-6 in the #02 Ford. He also attempted the Texas race in April in a car sponsored by Dickies. Barry Dodson will handle the crew chief duties.(9-1-97)
  • Per an AP report: “Dale Earnhardt was released from the hospital Monday and told by doctors not to drive until more tests can determine why he lost control of his car at the Southern 500. While doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, “we don’t want him to drive his car or anybody’s car until he’s completed the workup,” neurologist Dr. Joseph Healy said when Earnhardt was discharged. Healy said the 46-year-old driver could complete the tests as an outpatient. Earnhardt says he doesn’t know what happened but he feels great now.” The report mentions that Earnhardt had CAT scans, an EKG, an MRI, and they ran dye through his arteries. Healy said additional tests were recommended for several reasons – Earnhardt’s profession, past head injuries, and his father dying of a heart attack at age 44.”(AP)(9-1-97)
  • Dale Earnhardt Update from the Team Earnhardt page, links to the related stories appear here. I refuse to speculate or guess and this site seems to recount the ‘incident’ well and has a link to auto racing writer Stan Creekmore’s account of the incident, the JournalNow also has a report(9-1-97)
  • As for all the questions on Mike Dillon taking over for Earnhardt: After the “crew repaired Earnhardt’s car and started looking for a relief driver. They finally found one in Childress’s son-in-law, Grand National driver Mike Dillon, who had no experience in the Winston Cup series but got plenty Sunday. Dillon completed 280 laps and moved the car from 43rd place to 30th. Earnhardt also managed to remain in sixth place in Winston Cup points. NASCAR spokesman Kevin Triplett said a rookie can be authorized to provide relief. “Richard Childress Racing asked for approval. He has time in on this race track as a Grand National driver. He was given approval,” Triplett said.” from Depot News & Record(9-1-97)
  • “On the rumor mill, here’s a new one: Lexington-area resident Rick Mast fills the vacancy in the Richard Petty-owned No. 43 car next season. Derrike Cope, among others, also has been mentioned as a possibility now that Bobby Hamilton is bound for the No. 4 car next year. One car owner said yesterday he has heard the talk, and said he thinks Mast would be ”a perfect fit” for Petty.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(9-1-97)
  • Derrike Cope announced he will be driving a Martin-Weiss Motorsports BGN car on a limited basis in 1998 with Kraft as the sponsor(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(9-1-97)
  • I hear the OFFICIAL 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Schedule will be released on Wednesday, September 3, 1997(9-1-97)
  • About that schedule: “One race that apparently won’t be on it is a second date in 1998 at Texas Motor Speedway. The schedule includes only one new race — the March 1 race at the new Las Vegas Motor Speedway, according to sources. Beyond that, the only significant changes are a move of the first Richmond race from March to the night of June 6, and a flip-flop of the two California races. The race at California Speedway is on the first weekend on May, while the road race at Sears Point has been rescheduled to the last weekend of June. Also, there is a minor shift for the second New Hampshire race, which moves to the last weekend in August, followed by Darlington on Sept. 6, Richmond on Sept. 12 and Dover on Sept. 20.”(depot News & Record – Bob Zeller)(9-1-97)