News #3 97-11-14

NASCARFans E-Mail List ===== Fifty cars are entered for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season finale this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A maximum of 43 cars will qualify for the event including four regular provisional starting positions...

NASCARFans E-Mail List ===== Fifty cars are entered for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season finale this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A maximum of 43 cars will qualify for the event including four regular provisional starting positions and one past champion's provisional.

Busch Pole Qualifying, originally scheduled to qualify the fastest 25 cars on Friday afternoon with the remainder of the field determined following Busch Second Round Qualifying on Saturday, was postponed.

Cold weather, rain and moist air kept race cars off the Atlanta Motor Speedway for most of the day on Friday. In the absence of Busch Pole Qualifying on Friday, the field will be set in a single round of qualifying on Saturday. The fastest 38 cars, following one lap of time trials, will make the field followed by the placement of provisional starters.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series did get some late afternoon practice on the newly reconfigured track, posting speeds well over 190 mph. ===== Among firsts at Atlanta, five active drivers notched their first career NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts here. Rusty Wallace (1980), Steve Grissom (1990), Wally Dallenbach (1991), Jeff Gordon (1992) and Gary Bradberry (1994) all had debuts at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Terry Labonte (1981), Rick Mast (1992), Johnny Benson (1996) and Robby Gordon (1997) all earned their first Busch Poles at the Georgia superspeedway. ===== NASCAR Winston Cup Series point leader Jeff Gordon and three-time series champion Darrell Waltrip were awarded the inaugural NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated Person of the Year award presented by MCI. The award was determined by fan votes through several media including NASCAR Online. Both Gordon and Waltrip will appear on the December cover of the magazine with a photo essay and feature story within. ===== Add one more to the ranks of multi-car owners in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Bill Davis, owner of the No. 22 MBNA Pontiac team with driver Ward Burton, announced Friday that he will field a second NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, beginning in the year 2000, with World Of Outlaws Sprint Car standout Dave Blaney behind the wheel.

The newly-formed team received a three-year sponsorship commitment from Amoco Corporation for the purpose of developing a competitive NASCAR Winston Cup Series program. The first two years (1998 and 1999), Amoco Racing Team 93 will compete primarily in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, but will also compete in a limited NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule.

Beginning next season, Blaney will drive 21 NASCAR Busch Series races for Davis. In the year 2000, Amoco Racing will step up to full-scale Winston Cup sponsorship of the No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Pontiac. ===== Robert Pressley's NASCAR career has taken a sudden turn for the better.

With a NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division ride all set for next season, Pressley was named Friday as the driver for the No. 77 Jasper Engines Federal Mogul Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for the 1998 campaign.

"We are very excited about next year," said Doug Bawel, owner of Jasper Motorsports. "We have been very pleased with Robert's performance in the short time he has been with us. His ability to communicate with the team has enabled us to step up our performance in a very short period of time.

"He has fit in with this team perfectly and we're very glad that he his going to drive the Jasper Engines and Transmission Ford next year." ===== As rumored here a few weeks back, Tony Furr, a 25-year veteran mechanic and crew chief who masterminded the first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victories for John Andretti and Cale Yarborough Motorsports this season and who has worked with the likes of Dale Earnhardt and Ernie Irvan, will join forces with Ricky Craven and the Hendrick Motorsports Budweiser Chevrolet team as crew chief starting with the 1998 season. Furr replaces Andy Graves, who will return to Hendrick Motorsports teammate Terry Labonte's team as crew chief in 1998 after his one-year stint with Craven this season. Craven, currently in 18th place in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings, is excited about the addition of Furr.

"I'm extremely confident in Tony's abilities and I think he'll be a great asset to our team," Craven said. "He's a well-respected guy in our sport who has proven himself over the years. Tony will help us build on the success that we've had late in the season." ===== Above news from NASCAR Online. Thanks, guys, for your fine web site. ===== Qualifying tomorrow (Sat.) at 10:30 A.M. E.S.T. It will be televised on the Deuce, ESPN2.

If qualifying is rained out again, the field will line up according to points. ===== Mike Irwin (mailto:mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________

NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com _______________________________________

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