News 97-10-13

NASCARFans E-Mail List ========== I get asked this a lot; "Why did my driver Bart Schmoe place 11th, and make $5,000, but driver Hank Hoople placed 15th, and made more money than Bart did?????" One of the reasons for this is the NASCAR incentive...

NASCARFans E-Mail List ========== I get asked this a lot; "Why did my driver Bart Schmoe place 11th, and make $5,000, but driver Hank Hoople placed 15th, and made more money than Bart did?????"

One of the reasons for this is the NASCAR incentive programs, such as the "Winner's Circle". I'm sure there are others, but other than the Busch Pole Award for winning the pole of a Winston Cup race, I'm not aware of the names of the other programs. There's also "leading the race at the halfway point" money, $10,000, I believe.

If you have any in-depth knowledge of these programs, or know where I can find information about them on the web, please let me know at "mailto:mike@nascarfans.com". Please put subject as "NASCAR Incentives Info". I don't want to be bombarded with a bunch of "opinions", I'm looking for hard facts that I can pass on and report to the readers. ========== Here's a writeup on the Winner's Circle program, from Bill Sloboda at Country.Com:

"The Winners' Circle program, introduced in 1975, rewards winning car owners. Selection for the program is based totally on car owners' wins.

There are 12 positions on the program, ten of which are filled prior to the start of the season. The other two "wild card" spots are available for the first two car owners to win races and agree to the terms of the program, foremost of which is to attempt to qualify for every race for the season or remainder of the season after becoming eligible.

The ten positions filled prior to the start of the year are based on number of wins. The car owner who won the most races gets the first spot, the car owner with the second-highest number of wins gets the second spot, etc. Ties are broken by the car owner's point standings.

Car owners receive cash awards for each event during which they are on the program, a minimum of $232,000 for the season, and a maximum of over $300,000. The amount of money received is based on the winner's circle position.

Drivers for the car owners on the NASCAR Winston Cup Winner's Circle program must make a minimum of three appearances for NASCAR Winston Cup track operators during the course of the season. These usually involve the track using the driver for a day prior to the opening of track activities for press conferences, media interviews, etc."

Owners who qualified for 1997 Winner's Circle are R. Hendrick (#24), R. Penske (#2), R. Yates (#88), R. Hendrick (#5), R. Childress (#3), R. Yates (#28), Morgan/McClure (#4), R. Rudd (#10), R. Petty (#43), and J. Gibbs (#18). ========== JR-48 is taking a road no other NASCAR Winston Cup Series car has traveled -- from competing at the Brickyard to Brian Murphy's garage in tiny Pangbum, Ark. Murphy became the first consumer to own a race-ready NASCAR Winston Cup Series car in a ceremony before Sunday's DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mark Martin, who drove the Jack Roush-prepared car to three top-5 finishes in four races, signed the title of the car over to Murphy, the grand-prize winner of Valvoline's Big Race Sweepstakes. "I've followed Mark's career through the years -- I'm one of his biggest fans," said Murphy, who lives in the small Arkansas town (population 654) just 20 miles south of Martin's hometown of Batesville and 40 miles north of Little Rock. "What better souvenir is there than a real race car? This is a dream come true. "I'm going to enter it in car shows and maybe see if I can drive it once around town to celebrate." Murphy, a 27-year-old computer operator at Wal-Mart in Searcy, Ark., is one of more than 350,000 people who entered the contest, which ran May 1 to June 26. Murphy sent in 100 entries and won by random drawing. The car -- numbered JR-48 in the series of race cars Jack Roush has produced -- comes complete with all the racing components, including a 750-horsepower engine, suspension components, Goodyear Eagles and more. It is valued at more than $100,000. Martin raced the car four times, finishing fifth at the 1995 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fourth at Pocono Speedway in June, 1996, fourth in The Winston at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1996 and 18th in the The Winston ain 1995. The car remained in Roush Racing's active fleet until Murphy took ownership of it Sunday. "I really can't believe my car is going to be parked in a garage in Pangbum," Martin said. "This has been a wild promotion. As soon as it started in May, I won back-to-back races at Sears Point and Talladega, piled on some top-5 finishes and now have a chance to win the championship. Before that I went 42 races without a win." Martin is chasing leader Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship. "Maybe I should give away one of my cars every year," he said. (NASCAR Online) ==========

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

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jack Roush , Brian Murphy , Mark Martin