Notebook 95-11-07

== Ken's NASCAR Notebook 95-11-07 == --------------------------------------------- UPDATE: Silly Season - AKA: You'll need a program for Daytona!!! --------------------------------------------- Much of what I posted last time still holds true.

== Ken's NASCAR Notebook 95-11-07 ==

--------------------------------------------- UPDATE: Silly Season - AKA: You'll need a program for Daytona!!! --------------------------------------------- Much of what I posted last time still holds true. If you would like to see another listing of the changes for the 1996 NASCAR season, stop by this URL: http://www.io.org:80/~raceweb/is96chgs.html

Here are a couple that I don't think were in my last note:

Professional wrestler 'Sting' was in attendance at Homestead Motorsports Complex this past weekend to help announce that Turner Sport and World Championship Wrestling will switch sponsorship to Steve Grissom's Diamond Ridge Motorsports Busch Grand National car in 1996. The WCW was previously a sponsor on Richard Petty's Busch Grand National entry, driven by Rodney Combs.

Morgan Shepard has found a ride for next season in the #75 Factory Stores Ford, campaigned by Butch Mock Motorsports and replacing current driver Todd Bodine. Shepherd previously drove for Mock in 1989, producing five top-5 finishes, thirteen top-10's and one pole.

Although there were rumors that Smokin' Joe the Camel had been diagnosed with lung cancer and that RJ Reynolds would will pull the controversial ad campaign, it was recently announced that Travis Carter's #23 Ford Thunderbird will again be sponsored by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Camel cigarette brand and Jimmy Spencer will return as the driver next year.

In my previous notes, I mentioned that Jr. Johnson is trying to cut back his racing operations and involvement with numerous teams. I have learned from a note on Compuserve's RIS forum that Brett Bodine is apparently trying to buy one of Junior Johnson's race teams. Brett currently drives Johnson's #11 Lowe's Ford Thunderbird.

(This leaves all three Bodine Bros. in jeopardy for next year, with brother Todd given the boot from the #75, brother Geoff still looking for a sponsor for #7, and now Brett's ride is semi-questionable.)

Andy Petree is leaving Richard Childress Racing at the end of this season, and the Childress has decided that he will not hire a replacement, rather the team will undergo a little restructuring and a joint crew-chief position will be filled by a couple of guys already on his crew. David Smith will be promoted to crew chief and oversee the operations at the race track while team engineer, Bobby Hutchens will continue to supervise operations at the shop and take a more active position at the race track as well.

Oh yes, Rusty Wallace's team has lost so many crew members (to date atleast 4), that a "Help Wanted" sign has been posted outside the race shop..... Wallace, winner of 10 races in 1993 for Pontiac and 8 races in 1994 for Ford, only has two victories this year.

------------------------- The Quest for the Cup - Is it over? ------------------------- Looks like Dale has been snubbed by the 'Wonder Boy' in his attempt to beat the King for 8 championships, as Jeff Gordon needs only to finish better than last place in the final race to win the cup. As easy as that may seem, there is the slight chance that Jeff doesn't qualify (yeah right), or crashes on the first lap (has happened before at Atlanta), or blows his engine on the first lap while mis-shifting (he's missed a shift before that lost a race), or an Earnhardt fan goes out of control and high-jacks the #24 transporter....(just kidding, wanted to get your attention :-). Anything could happen....

----------------------- BGN News & Champion for 1995 ----------------------- The final BGN race of the season was run on the brand new track in Homestead Fla. Surprisingly, the top 38 qualifiers for Sunday's season-ending race at Homestead Motorsports Complex were separated by less than a second. The three-hour, 200 lap race was plagued with cautions from beginning to end. A total of 61 laps were run under caution, nearly one-third of the race. The strongest cars were fighting it out right until the last lap. Kenny Wallace, Hermie Sadler, and Larry Pearson were in a vicious battle for the lead after a late-race caution. Sadler had been looking for a way to get around Wallace for many laps and took the chance to dive under Wallace going into turn three. Pearson followed Sadler, but Sadler had to check up a bit as he was too low and too fast to make it through the corner. Pearson tapped Sadler in the rear and sent him sideways and into Wallace. Pearson lost control and drove the cars of Wallace and Sadler into the wall between turns three and four. Dale Jarrett, who had biding his time, dropped low past the wreck and drove on to take the checkered & yellow flags. Jarrett's win brought the Bill France Performance Cup to Ford Motor Company for the Busch Series division manufacture's title. It was the first time in the 14 years of the award that Ford Motor Company has won the points battle.

Johnny Benson Jr. was crowned 1995 NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division Champion with a total of 3688 points. Chad Little was second with 3284 points. Mike McLaughlin (from Waterloo, NY) finished third with a total of 3273 points. Jason Keller finished fourth with 3211 points, followed by Jeff Green in fifth with 3182 points.

---------------------------- New IROC Racecar for 1996 Announced ---------------------------- The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am will be the car of choice for the 1996 True Value Hardware Stores' International Race of Champions. The announcement was made Wednesday, Oct. 25th, at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association (SEMA) convention by Pontiac General Manager John Middlebrook and IROC President Jay Signore. IROC, marking its 20th anniversary in 1996, matches 12 of the world's top drivers, representing different types of motorsports, in equally prepared cars. The champion of the four-race series, based on point totals, earns $225,000 from the $760,000 total purse. Twelve drivers will be named at a later date, and Dale Earnhardt the defending IROC champion.

-------------------------------------- First Active Female Owner-driver Team Announced -------------------------------------- The Dial Corp, through its lines of Dial Soap, Purex detergent and Armour Star Canned Meats, will join forces with NASCAR driver Patty Moise in a historic venture beginning next season. Moise will become the first active female owner-driver of a major-league, full-schedule stock car racing team in 1996. Moise-Sawyer Motorsports will compete in all of the 1996 NASCAR Busch Grand National races. Her Dial/Purex/Armour team will field cars emblazoned with the number 14 over the course of the season as she attempts to become the first female national champion of any oval motorsports series. The team will be owned by Moise, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., and her husband Elton Sawyer, the Chesapeake, Va., native currently driving on the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Grand National circuits.

-------------------------- "Winston Cup Today" in now online. -------------------------- This site contains newsletters from Winston Cup Today, the latest NASCAR news heard on 400 radio stations across America anchored by Mark Garrow. The URL is: http://www.raceshop.com/wct/

Here's a sample: > Monday 10/16/95 > > Even though he's competed in just 3 races in 1995, Ernie Irvan's > return to NASCAR racing keeps progressing. In the second to last > SuperTruck event of the season in Bakersfield, California Sunday, > Irvan started 22nd...then steadily worked his way to the front. > > Ernie grabbed the lead with 17 laps to go, however it was Mike > Skinner who passed Irvan 2 laps later after a fierce door handle to > door handle battle. Skinner won the race while Irvan crossed the > finish line 3rd beside Mike Bliss in a photo finish. It was a fine > ending to a good day. > > Irvan, who tested extensively at Rockingham last week, will attempt > qualifying Friday for the AC Delco 400. Speaking of 400...this > weekend marks the first time this event is not a 500 miler. > > Earnhardt, along with several of his cup competitors, toured the > Texas Motor Speedway last week where construction is moving along at > a brisk pace. One million yards of dirt has been moved and concrete > piers for the grandstands will be poured this week as construction > of the Texas Motor Speedway continues near Fort Worth.

------------------------------------------ The Official NASCAR Wearables & Collectables Homepage ------------------------------------------ Located at http://www.netways.com/nascar/home.htm is a catalog of NASCAR related merchandise that you can order online. The selections include tee-shirts, jackets, ties, caps, videos, and other collectables.

--------------------------------- Hooters is now Online, but no NASCAR on site --------------------------------- That's right, Hooters Restaurants is now on the WWW. Check out http://www.florida.net/hooters/, but don't go looking for much in the way of the NASCAR team. The site is under construction still, but I haven't see anything remotely related to racing yet.

-------------- Hardee's is History -------------- I know, I know, everybody knows that Hardees won't be back to sponsor a car next year, but this is more for the folks in the Rochester, NY area. The Hardee's that is located on Rt 104 in Ontario is history, as of 7:00 pm, Monday, November 6th. The lights are out and nobody is home. Kaput. Finished. Closed. Gone. Ga'bye. No more Frisco burgers! If you know more about the situation, I'd like to hear about it. I was under the impresion that they were supposed to open upwards of 7 sites n the Rochester area.......oh well.

-PS: Just wanted to say thanks to all those people who write me and let me know that they enjoy reading these notes. It is your encouraging words that keep me plugging away at the keyboard. I don't know how if I'll have much to share in the off-season, but I'll try to keep you updated as much as possible. Enjoy the last race in Hot-lanta if you're going there, its a great race track!

Happy Motoring :-) =Ken=

Internet:        kc.wbst129@xerox.com
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