Notes 95-08-01

----------------------------- Diehard 500 (Talladega) Post-race Notes ----------------------------- By capturing the Unocal Challenge bonus of $121,600, Marlin became the eleventh driver to do so since the program made itsdebut in 1989.

----------------------------- Diehard 500 (Talladega) Post-race Notes -----------------------------

By capturing the Unocal Challenge bonus of $121,600, Marlin became the eleventh driver to do so since the program made itsdebut in 1989. Since then, Unocal has paid out $1,490,000 in bonus money to drivers for winning a NASCAR Winston Cup race from the pole.

By winning the Busch Pole award for Sunday's DieHard 500, Marlin assured the Morgan-McClure team a spot in the Busch Clash for the sixth consecutive season and the seventh time overall.

Sunday's race marked the first time since June 4 at Dover Downs that seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt has not lost points to the leader. Earnhardt left Dover with a 100-point lead and entered Talladega five races later 164 back. Earnhardt made up only 18 points, but stopped the skid with his 10th top-five finish of the season and his 17th career top- five at Talladega. ... Despite posting only one top-five finish in the five races previous to Talladega, Earnhardt's third-place run Sunday gave him 10 top-fives for the season -- second only to point leader Jeff Gordon. ... Marlin and Mark Martin are tied for the Series lead With 14 top-ten finishes each.

After the first-round qualifying for the Sears DieHard 500, Geoff Bodine, driver/owner of the Exide Batteries Ford Thunderbird, was taken to a local emergency room with stomach pains and was diagnosed with a kidney stone. Bodine was not admitted and spent Friday night in his motorhome at the track. Saturday morning he was in the car practicing, kidney stone and all. Geoff asked Mike McLaughlin to stand by as a relief driver for Sunday, and Mike also drove the Exide Batteries Ford in the final practice Saturday. McLaughlin drives the #34 French's Mustard/Black Flag Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. Geoff had surgery on the Tuesday following the race to remove the kidney stone.

--------------- Misc. News & Tidbits --------------- The Hendrick Motorsports trio of Gordon, Labonte and Ken Schrader along with the Jack Roush Racing duo of Mark Martin and Ted Musgrave pretty much have dispelled the conventional wisdom that multicar teams can't succeed. All five drivers are in the top 11 in the Winston Cup points standings after the New Hampshire event, which is considered the halfway point of the season. Gordon, as noted earlier, is the leader. Labonte is sixth, and Schrader holds 11th. Martin is fourth, just two points ahead of teammate Musgrave.

Dean Combs, the leading winner in the history of NASCAR's subcompact sedan series, is the new crew chief for driver Brett Bodine on the Ford team owned by Junior Johnson. It didn't take Combs long to run afoul of NASCAR technical inspectors and get in trouble with Winston Cup director Gary Nelson. Combs was fined $1,000 Sunday at the New Hampshire track for an improper fuel-cell filler valve that was found on the No. 11 Thunderbird. NASCAR spokesman Kevin Triplett said the device ``potentially allowed slightly more fuel in the car'' than allowed.

Robbie Reiser, driver of the #17 FDP Brakes Chevrolet, remains hospitalized at Carraway Methodist Medical Center. His condition has been upgraded to stable condition and he is expected to be moved out of the neurosurgical intensive care unit later today. Reiser is alert and talking with hospital staff and family members. Reiser was injured in a multi-car crash on lap 111 in the Humminbird Fishfinder 500k at Talladega Superspeedway when he collided with Jeff Fuller.

Wally Dallenbach Jr., who has proven to be a tremendous road racer, gets a ride in the MNBA Winston Cup car at Watkins Glen as part of a "one race only" deal.

------------- SuperTruck News ------------- Chrysler Corporation announced (on 7/26) that it will provide factory support to teams which run the Dodge Ram 1500 in the NASCAR SuperTruck series effective immediately. This marks the first time that the corporation has been involved in NASCAR since it left the stock car scene in 1971. Support beginss with the Dodge and Mopar divisions making contingency payments for podium finishes. It is followed by Dodge Truck and Mopar Performance engineering development of engines and body aerodynamics in preparation for expanded involvement in the 1996 season. "We are getting back into NASCAR racing with our Dodge Ram because it makes sense from the technology and marketing perspective." said Bernard Robertson, Vice President - Engineering Technologies and General manager - Jeep/Truck Operations. "The trucks in the series run with production sheet metal, are rear-wheel drive and are powered by our Magnum V-8 engine - like the street truck but specially prepared for racing." The engineering effort is a combination of in-house engineers working with experienced race engine builders and race teams. The goal is to provide a fully competitive package of Dodge Ram component s for the 1996 season. "All you have to do is look in the parking lot of a NASCAR SuperTruck race to see that this is a natural truck market," said Dodge General Manager Marty Levine. "Race fans like to see the truck they own race on the track. This also gives us the opportunity to enjoy the same rivalry with our competitors on the track that we do in the marketplace." The contingency program is open to any team running Dodge Rams. Payments for the top three positions are $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. This matches the contingency funds offered by the other truck manufacturers.

KERRY TEAGUE of Concord NC has been treated and released and is back at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas, announced Owen Kearns, NASCAR SuperTruck by Craftsman Series PR Director. The driver of the #51 Rosenblum Racing Chevrolet had no injuries after a single-truck crash on lap eight of the Heartland Tailgate 175. He complained of pain in his right leg. Teague doesn't remember how he got off track. When he came back across the track, his throttle stuck and he tried to turn around and back it in, but couldn't quite make it. In the accident, the truck hit the wall hard on the driver's side and caught on fire.

Roush Racing entered its first SuperTruck competition, the Heartland Tailgate 175 at the Heartland Park Topeka facility in Kansas. Winston Cup regular Todd Bodine drove for Roush in a limited, five race schedule including Richmond, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Phoenix and Topeka. The No. 61 Ford F-150 is currently unsponsored and as such, will feature the new Roush Performance Products logo until the team has secured a permanent sponsor for its "full-time" limited schedule program. The team is housed in Roush Racing's Livonia, Michigan, facility under the same roof as Roush's SCCA Trans-AM program. Roush Industries, the parent company of Roush Racing, is taking this opportunity to display a new logo found on the specialty hard parts manufactured by the Roush Performance Products division. Roush Performance Products will design, engineer, build and distribute a complete range of products for Ford 5.0 -liter and 5.8-liter V-8 engines as well as products for street Mustangs and F-Series pickup trucks using the 5.0 and 5.8 liter engines. The Roush Performance Products line will eventually evolve to include engine, transmission, chassis, suspension and body components to improve acceleration, ride, handling, functionality and appearance of late model Mustang and F-Series products from Ford. The first product to be introduced with the new Roush logo is a set of high-performance, bolt-on cylinder heads for late model 5.0 liter Mustang applications.

--------- IROC News --------- The following press release was issued by Jay Signore, President of IROC: "The IROC organization has enjoyed its relationship with Dodge and Chysler Corp. IROC began racing the Dodge Daytona in 1990 and, at it's first race at Talladega, the IROC Dodge Daytona set a series average speed record in the hands of winner Dale Earnhardt. Two years later, Davey Allison set the all-time IROC speed record of almost 192 MPH, again at Talladega. More recently, IROC has been proud to play an important role in the introduction of the new Dodge Avenger. The IROC series has continued to grow during the last six years, and we thank Dodge for its contribution to that success. Dodge has made a business decision to switch the focus of it's motorsports program in another direction, and, as a result, Saturday's race at Michigan will be the last for the Dodge car in IROC. The IROC series will continue in 1996, with another American manufacturer showcasing one of its cars in the unique area IROC provides, in the hands of some of the world's best drivers. We all are looking forward to beginning this new chapter in IROC's history -- the 20th season of IROC -- next February at Daytona International Speedway. A formal announcement of IROC's new car of choice will be made in the near future." Rumor has it that the Pontiac Firebird is the car most likely to become the next IROC car, but the company's response is that negotiations are ongoing.

---------------- Silly Season Update ---------------- Dale Jarrett has confirmed that he is working on trying to field his own team next, and is heavily courting two potential sponsors. If his own team doesn't pan out in time, he will look into driving for another team in 1996. He has also made mention that Ernie Irvan is working on coming back to Winston Cup racing this year in a second RYR/Havoline car. Jarrett says that he will stay with the RYR/Havoline car through the end of the season, and is happy that there are smiles on the faces of the crew members once again (reference to their recent performances).

----------------- World Wide Web News ----------------- The Nando Times Newserver has moved its Sportserver & Auto Racing info to a new location. The URL is now at this location: http://www2.nando.net/newsroom/sports/oth/1995/oth/car/feat/car.html

They have also added a section for auto racing pictures. Check it out here: http://www2.nando.net/newsroom/sports/oth/1995/oth/car/arts/pix.html

*You must register with Nando Times before you can get access to the articles themselves, but if you registered for the old server you will have access to the new one. Registration info is here at this URL: http://www2.nando.net/newsroom

Happy Motoring :-) =Ken=

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