NASCARFans E-Mail Newsletter ===== Trivia question, courtesy of Thomas:

Where did Richard Petty start his first race? (answer at bottom) ===== I received an e-mail from Lynne and Matt you may be interested in.

I quote:

"Sears DieHard/MRN sponsored a 1997 fan of the year contest and I was one of three first prize winners. As such, we have a website with over 200 original pictures we took on our winning trip to Talladega this fall and much more. Driver Intros section features 35 of 42 Dega starters plus excellent up close photos we took of the top 5 drivers in the most popular driver of the year contest. So, although we are Yates fans, there are pictures throughout the site on most drivers and we are continually updating. You can view our DieHard Race Fan Home Page site at:

End of quote

Check it out for some great up close and personal photos.

There's also an interview with Lynne here: ===== I've been getting e-mails about an alleged (by this, I mean that I haven't seen it anywhere else) squabble between Dura Lube and Shoemaker Racing (their driver is Dick Trickle (Busch series)). Dura Lube sponsored Shoemaker Racing in the '97 season. Their sponsor for the '98 season is Schneider Trucking.

Anyone else hear anything about this? If so, let me know. ===== Reported this earlier today, but here's NASCAR Online's version:

New Holland North America, Inc. announced an agreement with Ricky Craven Motorsports and his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division team for 1998. New Holland has signed on to support Ron Barfield at the wheel of the No. 2 New Holland Chevrolet for a part-time schedule.

The sponsorship is for 12 NASCAR Busch Series races and three ARCA events in 1998. Craven, the team owner, will be focusing his driving efforts next year on his NASCAR Winston Cup Series ride in Hendrick Motorsports' No. 50 Budweiser Chevrolet.

"I feel very comfortable knowing that we have the capable skills of Ron Barfield to drive our Busch series car," Craven said. "As owner, I will continue to lend the team my strong support. We are thrilled to be associated with such a quality group of people as New Holland."

Barfield has driven a New Holland-sponsored car in NASCAR Busch Series events for the last two seasons, and is widely recognized as a rising star within the sport. He will kick the season off in his New Holland Monte Carlo with the ARCA 200, Feb. 8, 1998 at the Daytona International Speedway.

Barfield will also be seeing plenty of action on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1998. The Florence, S.C. native will drive Charles Hardy's No. 35 Ortho Lawn & Garden Products Chevrolet next year in a one-year deal. ===== Answer to trivia question: In his dad's backup car in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ===== As promised:

T minus 30 days and counting 'til the Craftsman Chevy Trucks Challenge T minus 51 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Bud Shootout T minus 56 days and counting 'til the Busch Series NAPA Auto Parts 300 T minus 57 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Daytona 500 ====

Mike Irwin ( NASCAR Fans _______________________________________

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Jesus is the reason for the season...