Monday AM news 97-07-14

NASCARFans E-Mail List Matt Kenseth has been testing with Mark Martin and has just announced publically that he will be driving 5 WC races in 1998 and the full schedule in 1999. No word yet if Roush will have a 4 car team or if Ted Musgrave will...

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Matt Kenseth has been testing with Mark Martin and has just announced publically that he will be driving 5 WC races in 1998 and the full schedule in 1999. No word yet if Roush will have a 4 car team or if Ted Musgrave will be leaving. Kenseth will run the entire Busch series next year with the #17 Robby Reisner owned Kraft Singles Chevy (Jayski).

The Columbia Herald(TN) reports that Jeff Purvis will attempt the Brickyard 400 a the Larry Lockamy owned Chevy. Lockamy owns the #28 Opryland Chevy Purvis drives in the BGN in which they have 2 top 10's in 2 races (Jayski).

Quote: "I have two or three very good Winston Cup teams that are interested, but nothing is nailed down. Right now, I'm racing trucks." Kenny Irwin on the CBS telecast of the Louisville truck race (Jayski)

This rumor was reported with Geoff Bodine a week or so ago but Todd Bodines new three year deal to drive a Pontiac may be with IRL team owner/driver Eddie Cheever(Dan Marino was mentioned in the Geoff rumor because Marino is a spokesperson for FirstPlus, Cheevers IRL sponsor) (Jayski).

The deal involving Darrell Waltrip, Rich Bickle and KFC might also include Taco Bell (KFC and Taco Bell are both owned by PepsiCo). The deal might include a joint KFC/Taco Bell sponsorship on the 17 car, with the car sporting either the KFC or Taco Bell colors depending on the market much like Mike McLaughlin ran in the Busch Series with French's Mustard and Black Flag. Waltrip is trying to put together a deal to put KFC on one car,and Taco Bell other the other. You might remember KFC was an associate sponsor on Waltrip's car when he drove for Junior Johnson. Right now the sticking point is the sponsorship dollars of supporting two teams, and remember Pepsi also is an associate sponsor on Jeff Gordon's car (Jayski).

Ernie Irvan knew many people would be watching his showing in Sunday's Jiffy Lube 300, even if he wasn't in the lead. He started the NASCAR Winston Cup race and the second half of the season as a lame duck driver after learning earlier in the week his contract with Robert Yates Racing would not be renewed for next year. ``Obviously, a lot of eyes were on us today to see if I was going to handle it, and if the team was going to handle it and put a full effort out, and I think we showed that we will,'' he said. Irvan, the 1996 winner, led for 42 laps before engine problems ruined his chances. He finished eighth. (WRAL)

Jeff Burton is the fifth different winner in five NASCAR Winston Cup races at New Hampshire International Speedway. The others are Ernie Irvan, Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd. They will all get chance to become the first two-time winner at the track when they return for the New Hampshire 300 on Sept. 14, the first time the track has had two cup races the same year. (Charlotte.com)

John Andretti said he wanted to pick up one more spot. Jeremy Mayfield said he just wanted to stay out of the way. Neither accomplished their goal. That's about the size of what happened in the final lap of Sunday's Jiffy Lube 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Andretti was ninth, just behind Ernie Irvan, and the engine in Irvan's Ford wasn't working all that well as the 300-lap race reached its conclusion. ``The No. 28 car (Irvan) was like a sitting duck out there with seven cylinders,'' Andretti said. ``The opportunist I am, I see it, I go for it. Then the guy behind me takes me out.'' That would be Mayfield, whom Andretti blamed for causing the crash that sent Andretti's Ford hard into the wall in Turn 3. Robby Gordon's Chevrolet also spun out. ``I was just trying to get out of the way of those guys and let them race,'' said Mayfield, who was running a lap down. ``A piece of my carburetor broke off and hung my throttle open. We were just trying to finish the thing and bring it home in one piece.'' (NASCAR's Gary Nelson later confirmed that with an examination of Mayfield's carburetor after the race (JournalNow)) After Andretti crashed, he climbed from his car and ran across the track. He got in front of Mayfield's Ford and stuck his head into the passenger side window, expressing his displeasure. Andretti then caught a ride to the garage area with Gordon. ``If his throttle was sticking, he should have gotten off the race track or at least got out of the way because he knew he was in an unsafe situation,'' Andretti said. ``We paid the price.'' Andretti wound up 14th and Mayfield finished 17th. ``I don't race people like that,'' Mayfield said. ``I race hard, but I race clean.'' The two drivers have a history, of course, after swapping race teams in the latter part of the 1996 season. Both teams like to think they got the better of the deal, so Andretti and Mayfield are never likely to be close. (Charlotte.COM)

Steve Grissom scored his best finish, a fourth, and went home feeling a lot better than he did after finishing 38th last week at Daytona. ``It seemed like we were trying to pass somebody all the time,'' he said. ``It was pretty tough to pass out there. You about had to wait for the guy in front of you to make a mistake to get by him.'' (Charlotte.COM)

Bobby Hamilton led 43 laps early in his Pontiac, but he had a flat tire and that knocked a sway bar loose. ``We were junk the rest of the way,'' Hamilton said. ``They kept hollering out times like I could do something about it. If these things didn't need sway bars, they wouldn't weld them on to start with.'' (Charlotte.COM)

For much of the three-hour race at Loudon, it looked like Ernie Irvan and Dale Jarrett would give Yates another one-two finish; they led nearly half the race. But both lost engines. Yates, perplexed, said that both melted sparkplugs, even blowing one right out of the cylinder. Jarrett was angry when he got out of his car. ''Some days it just doesn't go your way,'' he said as he stormed off. (JournalNow)

Steve Park, who gave Mark Martin such a handful in the May Busch race at Talladega, will get his first chance against Martin and the rest of the Winston Cup tour stars in next weekend's Pocono 500. Park, driving for Dale Earnhardt, tested last week at Pocono, ''and he was very, very fast, fast enough to have made the top 14 for the June Cup race,'' according to one man on hand. (JournalNow)

FORD'S UNVEILING of the new NASCAR Taurus is tentatively set for Wednesday July 30 at Indianapolis, in an invitation-only affair. (J.N.)

Defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday led all 225 laps at Louisville Motor Speedway on Sat., July 12, to capture his fourth win of the season. His victory in the Link-Belt 225 marks his third win in the last four races (NASCAR Online).

NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty of Level Cross is suing an Illinois company for allegedly using his trademarks improperly and putting them on what the lawsuit calls shoddy merchandise. The suit, which originally filed in Randolph County Superior Court in June, has since been moved to federal court. Petty seeks over $10,000 in damages according to the complaint, It alleges Racing Champions, INC of Illinois and Kevin Camp, RCI's North Carolina based vice president of licensing, improperly used Petty's name and his racing number 43 to sell several products. (Michelle Hines, The Courier-Tribune (Asheboro,NC)) Thanks to Jemma for passing this along.

Mike Irwin (mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Rich Bickle , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Steve Park , Robby Gordon , Eddie Cheever , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mike McLaughlin , Jeff Purvis , Richard Petty , Steve Grissom , Junior Johnson , Robert Yates , Mark Martin
Teams Yates Racing