AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN AUGUST 2, 1998 Paul Gentilozzi (Autolink Rocketsports Chevrolet Corvette) won his sixth 1998 SCCA NTB Trans-Am Series victory by taking Trois Rivieres event Sunday. Gentilozzi's six 1998...
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN
AUGUST 2, 1998
Paul Gentilozzi (Autolink Rocketsports Chevrolet Corvette) won his sixth 1998 SCCA NTB Trans-Am Series victory by taking Trois Rivieres event Sunday. Gentilozzi's six 1998 wins (in nine races) rank tied for seventh ranking on the all-time Wins Per Season list; with a seventh win, Paul can tie seven-race winners Mark Donohue (1971), Scott Pruett (1987), Willy T. Ribbs (1985), and Bob Tullius (1978 Category I). If Gentilozzi wins each of the season's four remaining events, he can tie the second-ranking season win total of ten achieved by Mark Donohue in 1968. Tom Kendall's record eleven-win 1997 season is out of Gentilozzi's reach. The victory was the 20th for the Rocketsports team in Trans-Am competition, sixth-ranking all-time. Rocketsports has now won eight of the nine 1998 Trans-Am races (two with Bill Saunders) and six consecutively. Gentilozzi has "opened" the 1998 SCCA NTB Trans-Am Series season with NINE consecutive Fastest Lap honors, a new Trans-Am Fast Lap streak record. Paul has TIED the all-time Season Fast Lap Total record with the Trois Rivieres 1998 Fast Lap. The record of nine Fast Laps in a season was set by Tom Kendall in 1997's 13-race season. Gentilozzi and teammate Saunders (seventh at Trois Rivieres) are 1-2 in points (251-195); a team has scored a 1-2 in Trans-Am points five times. McCall Racing with Chevrolet Camaros leads with two such results; Scott Sharp won the 1991 title with Jack Baldwin second, and the duo reversed the result in 1992. The first "team 1-2" was scored by DeAtley Racing and its Chevrolet Camaros driven by David Hobbs and Willy T. Ribbs in 1983. The C & C Chevrolet Beretta team of Tom Kendall and Chris Kneifel finished 1-2 in 1990 Trans-Am points. Roush Racing achieved a 1985 1-2 by Wally Dallenbach, Jr. and Willy T. Ribbs in Roush Mercury Capris. For the second consecutive race, rookie Bruce Qvale (Huffaker/Qvale Ford Mustang Cobra) finished second, with fellow rookie Chris Neville (ARCO Derhaag Chevrolet Camaro) third, each achieving career-best finishes. In the season's nine races, Qvale and Neville have each led the rookies four times. Neville now ranks third in overall points with 189; Bruce Qvale is fifth with 180 and second to Neville in the 1998 Rookie of the Year chase.
Jeff Gordon (Dupont Hendrick Chevrolet Monte Carlo) won Saturday's Indianapolis Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event, becoming the first driver to win the event twice. The win was Gordon's second consecutive in the series and series-leading sixth of 1998, achieving the feat in race #19 of 1998. Jeff has been the first driver to achieve six wins in each of the last four Winston Cup seasons; he took his sixth 1995 win in race #23 (September 3 Darlington Southern 500), his sixth 1996 win in race #18 (July 28 Talladega 500), and his sixth 1997 win in race #13 (June 8 at Pocono). While at this time in 1997 Jeff had eight (of ten eventual) wins he is only one race shy of his 1996 pace when he also won ten races.
Tommy Houston (Addington Coal Chevrolet) won Sunday's New Hampshire NASCAR Craftsman Truck event, scoring his first victory in the series as he became the third driver to take his first Craftsman Truck win in 1998, joining Rick Crawford (Homestead) and Stacy Compton (Portland). The win was the fifth consecutive for Chevrolet in the 1998 series and ended a four-race streak of alternating wins by Ron Hornaday, Jr. and Jack Sprague. Andy, third in 1994 NASCAR Winston Racing Series Mid-Atlantic points and eleventh in 1996 NASCAR Dash points, is the son of Tommy Houston; Tommy's last NASCAR Busch Grand National win came April 18, 1992 at Hickory. Tommy never won a BGN event on a track of a mile or more such as the New Hampshire mile.
Terry Borcheller (Saleen/Allen Ford Saleen Mustang) won T1 and Michael Galati (Realtime/Comptech Acura Integra R) won T2 in Trois Rivieres SCCA World Challenge action; each driver now leads the 1998 series point standings as well. Borcheller did not compete in the first race of the 1998 T1 season; if he wins the 1998 T1 championship title, he will join 1997 T1 champion Peter Cunningham as the only World Challenge titlists to score a season championship while missing one of the season's events. Borcheller's victory was his second of the 1998 T1 season, tying him with points runnerup Peter Cunningham for 1998 T1 victory honors. Borcheller leads by five points, 146 to 141 with Terry's winless Saleen/Allen teammate Ron Johnson third, also with 141, with Dodge Viper driver Neil Hannemann fourth at 96 points, Porsche 911 pilot Jeff Conkel fifth with 87, and Chevrolet Corvette driver (and Minneapolis racewinner) Chris Wiehle sixth at 82. Galati's win was his first in 1998 T2 competition; teammate Pierre Kleinubing, second at Trois Rivieres, and fellow Acura Integra R pilot Lance Stewart, third at Trois Rivieres, lead 1998 T2 with two wins apiece. Galati leads the championship with 166 points to 149 for Kleinubing and 147 for Stewart. BMW drivers rank 4-5-6 (Johannes Overbeek 138, Hugh Plumb 121, and Alain Chebeir 119). The victory margins (0.266 second in T1, 0.445 second in T2) were the closest of 1998. Each class winner won from second starting position with the polesitter finishing second in each class.
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