AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN
September 7, 1997
Jimmy Vasser (Target Reynard 97I-Honda-Firestone) won Sunday's Laguna Seca PPG CART World Series event as his teammate Alessandro Zanardi finished third and clinched the 1997 PPG CART title. Runnerup Mark Blundell achieved the Manufacturers title for powerplant provider Mercedes. 1996 CART champion Vasser's first win of 1997 was also the first 1997 win for a defending champion in racing's three "highest profile" series as 1996 titlists Terry Labonte (NASCAR Winston Cup) and Damon Hill (World Championship) remain winless in 1997. Dale Jarrett (Ford Quality Care Yates Ford Thunderbird) won Saturday night's Richmond Exide 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race; the victory was his fifth of 1997, bettering by one victory his previous career-best season win total of four in 1996. The win was his second, and second consecutive, Winston Cup victory on a "short track." The victory was not Dale's first at Richmond, however, as he won the September 8, 1995 Richmond NASCAR Busch Grand National race. Bob Keselowski (MOPAR Dodge) won Thursday evening's NASCAR Craftsman Truck race, scoring his first and Dodge's second Craftsman Truck victory. Bob won 24 ARCA races from 1986 through 1993; he won on "short track" paved ovals, on the 2-mile Michigan and 2.5-mile Pocono superspeedways, and in 100-mile classics on the dirt miles at DuQuoin and Springfield. His last six ARCA wins (1991-93) came driving Chrysler LeBarons. Bob won the 1989 ARCA championship and took the 1990 and 1993 Bill France Triple Crown ARCA subtitles. From 1987 through 1993 Bob was finished in the Top Three in the ARCA point standings (third 1987, second 1988, champ 1989, second 1990, third 1991, second 1992, second 1993.) and was fourth in 1994. Bob ranked 15th in 1995 Craftsman Truck points and 16th in 1996. Steve Park (AC Delco Earnhardt Chevrolet Monte Carlo) won Friday's Richmond NASCAR Busch Grand National race; the victory was his third of 1997. His team owner, Dale Earnhardt, won three or more BGN races in a season only twice, in 1986 when he won five races, and in 1991 when he won three times. In fairness to Dale, however, it must be noted that Steve is contesting the full schedule; Dale contested only a limited schedule. In last weekend's Mosport Park SCCA World Challenge action, Rob Fellows won T1 and Pierre Kleinubing won T2 at as Ford Saleen Mustang took the T1 win and Acura took T2. Rob Fellows won T1 in his AER/McGraw Ford Saleen Mustang and Kleinubing won T2 in a Comptech/Realtime Acura Integra R. Fellows' victory was the second of his World Challenge career and his second in T1 in 1997 as he became the second multiple-racewinner in the 1997 series. Kleinubing scored the first win of his World Challenge career in his eighth start. Pierre Kleinubing is the 75th driver to score a victory in the SCCA World Challenge series; T1 has had two first-time winners in 1997, T2 three. Each driver was a first-time Mosport Park World Challenge racewinner. T1 was won from second starting position, T2 from fourth, although each driver was the Fast Qualifier for his class. T1 produced nine lead-lap finishers, T2 eight. The T1 total was a new Mosport Park T1 record, the T2 total tied the Mosport Park T2 record. Fellows led T1 all the way; T2 had three leaders and four lead changes. The victory margins were tight: 3.077 seconds in T1, 0.248 second in T2. The T2 margin was a new Mosport Park T2 and World Challenge record. 1997 World Challenge T1 racing has produced five racewinning drivers in eight races, with only Peter Cunningham, the driver of the Comptech/Realtime Acura NSX, scoring three wins. Cunningham won at St. Petersburg, Mid-Ohio, and Trois Rivieres. Rob Fellows (a first-time winner in 1997.) is the other multiple racewinner, his two victories coming at Heartland Park and Mosport Park. Kermit Upton, Lou Gigliotti, and first-time World Challenge winner Peter Kitchak have scored the other wins. Five teams have scored wins, led by Comptech/Realtime with three; AER/McGraw has two, with Mountain, Gigliotti, and Kitchak each taking one. The Acura NSX and Ford Saleen Mustang lead with three wins apiece; the BMW M3 and Porsche RSR have scored one apiece as four marques have won the eight 1997 T1 races. 1997 World Challenge T2 racing has produced seven racewinning drivers in eight races, with only Paul Booher, driver of the ICY Racing Saturn SC, scoring two wins. Peter Schwartzott, Michael Galati, Alain Chebeir, and first-time World Challenge racewinners Kristian Skavnes, Johannes Van Overbeek, and Pierre Kleinubing have scored the other six wins. Four teams have won in 1997 T2, with ICY Racing leading with three wins. Last Minute Racing has two (Chebeir and Van Overbeek), as does Comptech/Realtime (Galati and Kleinubing); Schwartzott Racing took the other victory. Four marques and three manufacturers have won in 1997 T2. Saturn leads with three victories; Honda has three wins, two by an Acura Integra R, one by a Honda Prelude Si. BMW has two wins with its 328is. Acura has won in both classes, three times with the NSX in T1 and twice with the Integra R in T2. BMW has also won in both classes, once in T1 with an M3 and twice in T2 with a 328is. Comptech/Realtime is the only team to win in both classes, three races with Peter Cunningham in T1 and twice in T2, once each with Galati and Kleinubing.
ARA MODEL KIT REVIEWS
LINDBERG Craft House Corporation 328 North Westwood Avenue Toledo, OH 43607
Chrysler Atlantic Concept Car Kit 1:25 Scale Super-Snap Ultra Requires use of small Phillips head screwdriver; minimal glue usage to secure separately-molded doors
This model faithfully reproduces the exciting Chrysler Atlantic concept car. The body is accurately molded in an eye-catchingly brilliant metallic bronze. The fit and finish is excellent for a "snap" model and allows easy assembly. The excellent instructions recommend gluing the doors in place and this is a good idea as the doors are separately molded for added fidelity to detail. A nice touch is the use of screws for body to chassis attachment; this gives the model excellent rigidity. The chassis is detailed with complete suspension details. The impressive interior is comprehensively detailed. Chrome plated parts are provided for the appropriate details, and clear plastic for the lighting. Metal axles are provided. The Atlantic was unveiled at the 1995 North American International Auto Show. The Atlantic takes its inspiration from the curvaceous European coupes of the thirties. It features a prominently defined nose and retro aerodynamic styling echoing Bugatti and Jaguar designs. Chrysler refers to the spirit of luxury French coachbuilders of the late 1930s in its description of the car. Automotive Body Repair News says "A distinctive wind split begins on the hood, continues through the roof and ends at the thin, high mounted center stoplight on the rear. The interior features exotic, flowing lines, elegant trim, leather seating for four and gold-trimmed, classic watch face gauges."
Richard Petty's 1964 Plymouth Belvedere 1:25 Scale Skill Level 2 Glue and Painting Required
This kit produces an excellent and accurate model of the 1964 Plymouth Belvedere Richard Petty drove to victory in the 1964 Daytona 500. The markings are correct, including the Patterson Motors signage on the rear quarter panels. This version is especially significant in stock car history as 1964 was the first of Richard Petty's seven Daytona 500 wins, his first "high profile" victory, and the victory kicked off the first of his seven championship seasons. Literally, the 1964 Belvedere was the carriage for King Richard's coronation. The model is suitable for modeling any of Richard's 1964 starts in 1964 Belvederes; the variable from race to race was the rear quarter panel marking, as the area was sometimes blank and in other instances carried other dealer advertising. The 1964 Plymouth Belvedere debuted on the Winston Cup (then Grand National) circuit at Daytona. While the 1964 Belvedere was the primary mount Richard Petty utilized to win the 1964 title, his seven wins in 1964 Belvederes and Jim Paschal's Charlotte World 600 win in the other Petty Belvedere were the 1964 Belvedere's only victories. In the February 21, 1964 Daytona 100 mile qualifying race #1 for the Daytona 500. Its best result in that event was scored by Buck Baker in the Petty team's other car, #41; Buck finished second. Richard finished third in the second qualifying race. Petty's first win in the 1964 Belvedere was the Daytona 500; 1964 Belvederes finished 1-2-3 as Petty was followed across the line by Jim Pardue in the Burton-Robinson entry and Paul Goldsmith in the Ray Nichels Belvedere. Petty won six more races in the 1964 Belvedere: June 11, 1964 at Concord, NC (100 miles on dirt); June 14, 1964 at Nashville (100 miles on pavement); June 26, 1964 at Piedmont Fairgrounds, Spartanburg, SC (100 miles on dirt); August 2, 1964 at Nashville (200 miles on pavement in a Petty 1-2 with Jim Paschal); August 16, 1964 at West Virginia International (218.75 miles on pavement); and October 25, 1964 at Harris, NC (100 miles on pavement). Petty also finished second in dirt track events at Richmond, Greenville, Lincoln (Pennsyvlania), Rambi (Myrtle Beach), Savannah, and Jacksonville, NC and earned runnerup finishes on pavement in the Charlotte 600, at New Asheville, in the Atlanta 400, and at Chattanooga, Birmingham, Bristol, Bowman Gray, and Martinsville. Jim Paschal took the Petty team's other 1964 Belvedere win in the Charlotte World 600; Richard was second in the team's first 1-2 of 1964 (the second was at Nashville August 2 with Richard first and Jim second). Paschal also finished second in the Darlington Southern 500 and Charlotte National 400; in each case Richard finished third. Paschal was third at Bristol and fourth at West Virginia International. Paschal drove only a limited schedule of major events for Petty; his first eight 1964 starts were in Cotton Owens' Dodges. Although he competed in only 22 1964 events, Paschal ranked seventh in points. Petty won the 1964 NASCAR title with nine wins in 61 starts over Ford driver Ned Jarrett; Ned competed in 59 races and although he won fifteen races versus Richard's nine, only one of Ned's wins, the Atlanta 400, came in a high-point event under the 1964 point structure. Two of Petty's 1964 victories came at the wheel of 1963 Plymouth Belvederes: December 29, 1963 at Savannah and May 17, 1964 at South Boston.
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