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Happy birthday to my wife today. ===== Stevie Reeves announced that Big-A Auto Parts will return as his sponsor on the #96 John Andretti owned BGN Ford in 1998(RPM2Nite)/Jayski ===== Testing continued at Atlanta with Jeff Gordon being fastest Wednesday at 191+. Others in order were #33, 29, 88, 81 and 00, yes Buckshot Jones tested at Atlanta and may attempt the WC race there on Nov 16th (RPM2Nite)/Jayski ===== Davey Allison, whose racing career was ended by a fatal helicopter crash in 1993, was among six men chosen Wednesday to be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, AL. Allison will be inducted April 23, along with Roger Penske, Al Unser Sr., Rudolph Caracciola, Banjo Matthews and Tazio Nuvolari.(NandoNet)/Jayski ===== Racing Champions Corp., a leading marketer of die cast racing vehicle replicas and other collectibles, announced today the addition of defending NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Terry Labonte to its 1998 spokesperson team. (Jayski) ===== This is the end of the news for the day, there's a story below, and then the top 20 in the points races for the Cup, Busch, and truck series. So if you're not interested in anything else, delete now. ===== Here's a story written by Bill Fleischman, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, from the Charlotte Observer site:

Alan Kulwicki did it. Andy Belmont thought he also could do it.

In 1992, Kulwicki guided his Winston Cup team to the championship. Kulwicki inspired Belmont, a racer out of Lower Bucks County.

``I was hardheaded. I thought I could be Alan Kulwicki,'' said Belmont, now 39. ``I found out you can't.''

Belmont tried the Winston Cup circuit in '92. A few years later, after Kulwicki's death in a plane crash in April 1993, Belmont moved his family to North Carolina, the place to be when you are running a Busch Grand National program. The Grand National goal didn't work out.

Belmont's racing dreams were fading when along came an offer from America Online to race full time next season in the Automobile Racing Club of America series.

The ARCA cars are identical to Winston Cup cars. ARCA races usually are on Saturdays, a day before Winston Cup events.

``In 20 years of racing, I've never had a sponsor of the stature of these people,'' Belmont said. ``Everybody knows who they are.''

The intention was to enter 17 races. ``But since we had the press conference at Charlotte,'' Belmont said, ``we've had some other people step up and we're going to run for the championship.''

Tim Steele has run away with this year's championship.

The deal with America Online was initiated by Wes Hughes, the president of Belmont's fan club. Hughes, an executive with Okidata, contacted a former co-worker, Arden Portney, the director of business development for Digital City Philadelphia, which is owned by America Online. After only a few meetings, AOL was A-OK with Belmont.

And Belmont is OK with AOL. Explaining the deal, Eddie Leonard, AOL's vice president of brand marketing, said: ``AOL is very broad-based in terms of appeal. We were looking for an opportunity to get our brand image into a wholesale environment. We have received hundreds of race-car proposals. Andy's stood out because he has the ability and desire to win. Andy is a savvy businessman.''

Belmont, a Penndel resident, said Winston Cup driver Ricky Rudd is providing some cars. Belmont said his car will be a research-and-development car for the No. 77 Jasper Motorsports Winston Cup team. Ford has offered Belmont a good deal on engines.

``It's a neat thing to be back full swing,'' Belmont said. ``Frankly, it's been overwhelming. I'd gotten out of the groove a little. I was driving everything with wheels to stay afloat.''

Working with Belmont will be crew chief Frank Bird, formerly associated with legendary Winston Cup crew chief Harry Hyde. ===== Top 20 in Cup points(same as last week, actually), courtesy of Chaz:

Driver Standings 1. Jeff Gordon, 4,321. 2. Mark Martin, 4,211. 3. Dale Jarrett, 4,166. 4. Jeff Burton, 4,041. 5. Terry Labonte, 3,796. 6. Dale Earnhardt, 3,794. 7. Bobby Labonte, 3,687. 8. Bill Elliott, 3,536. 9. Ted Musgrave, 3,322. 10. Rusty Wallace, 3,242. 11. Ken Schrader, 3,240. 12. Johnny Benson, 3,235. 13. Jeremy Mayfield, 3,217. 14. Ernie Irvan, 3,214. 15. Ricky Rudd, 3,180. 16. Kyle Petty, 3,060. 17. Bobby Hamilton, 2,954. 18. Ricky Craven, 2,853. 19. Michael Waltrip, 2,843. 20. Jimmy Spencer, 2,828. ===== Top 20 in Busch points(same as last week, actually), courtesy of Chaz:

Driver Standings 1. Randy LaJoie, 4,108. 2. Todd Bodine, 3,908. 3. Steve Park, 3,803. 4. Mike McLaughlin, 3,371. 5. Elliott Sadler, 3,337. 6. Phil Parsons, 3,320. 7. Buckshot Jones, 3,234. 8. Elton Sawyer, 3,225. 9. Tim Fedewa, 3,158. 10. Hermie Sadler, 3,097. 11. Jason Keller, 3,075. 12. Kevin Lepage, 3,072. 13. Mark Green, 3,010. 14. Dick Trickle, 2,864. 15. Mike Dillon, 2,814. 16. Tracy Leslie, 2,725. 17. Glenn Allen, 2,709. 18. Joe Bessey, 2,600. 19. Stevie Reeves, 2,443. 20. Jeff Fuller, 2,351. ===== Top 20 in Truck points(same as last week, actually), courtesy of Chaz:

Driver Standings 1. Jack Sprague, 3,634. 2. Rich Bickle, 3,513. 3. Joe Ruttman, 3,376. 4. Mike Bliss, 3,322. 5. Ron Hornaday, 3,271. 6. Jay Sauter, 3,161. (tie) Jimmy Hensley, 3,161. 8. Rick Carelli, 3,156. 9. Chuck Bown, 3,012. 10. Kenny Irwin, 2,972. 11. Butch Miller, 2,965. 12. Rick Crawford, 2,891. 13. Stacy Compton, 2,809. 14. Bob Keselowski, 2,679. 15. Tony Raines, 2,588. 16. Boris Said, 2,502. 17. Tony Roper, 2,431. 18. Dave Rezendes, 2,428. 19. Bryan Reffner, 2,311. 20. Tammy Jo Kirk, 2,137.

Mike Irwin (mailto:mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________

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