Silly Season Chart 97-09-19

Since Jayski is no longer updating the NASCAR WC silly season chart on his Web site, I've decided to resume publishing mine. I update this as rumors and info come across, and send it out whenever there are changes (and I have time). The format ...

Since Jayski is no longer updating the NASCAR WC silly season chart on his Web site, I've decided to resume publishing mine. I update this as rumors and info come across, and send it out whenever there are changes (and I have time). The format is: The leftmost column are drivers that have raced in WC in 1997 or may be racing in 1998. The second column is the WC ride and sponsor that the driver *started* the season with in 1997 (with a few exceptions), or in the case of drivers who haven't driven in WC in 1997, the name of the series that they were most active in this year. The third column is the ride that the driver has or may have in 1998, with some conditions that are footnoted at the bottom of the list.

Known and rumored info as of 9/19/97:

DRIVER 1997 TEAM/SPONSOR 1998 TEAM/SPONSOR (START OF SEASON)

Loy Allen Mark Smith ? Healthsource

John Andretti Cale Yarborough same? RCA

Johnny Benson Chuck Rider Jack Roush{4} Pennzoil General Mills**?

Rich Bickle(R) NCTS Darrell Waltrip{2}* KFC**?

Dave Blaney(R) WoO Bill Davis{2}? ?

Brett Bodine self Bodine/Evans% Close Call same?

Geoff Bodine self Bodine/Mattei/Porter% QVC ?

Todd Bodine BGN Int'l Sports Mgt. Tobasco**

Gary Bradberry Sadler Bros. Jim Wilson? Feed the Children Hanes?

Jeff Burton Jack Roush{3} same Exide

Ward Burton Bill Davis same MBNA

Derrike Cope Nelson Bowers Chuck Rider Skittles ?

Ricky Craven Rick Hendrick{2} same Budweiser

Wally Dallenbach Felix Sabates{2} same First Union

Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress same GM Goodwrench

Bill Elliott self{1} same McDonald's

Jimmy Foster(R) Dash Series/BGN Washington/Erving? Dr. Pepper?

Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick{3} same Du Pont

Robby Gordon Felix Sabates{1} CART/IRL? Coors Light

David Green Buz McCall same Caterpillar

Jeff Green BGN Gary Bechtel Phillips 66**?

Steve Grissom Larry Headrick same Kodiak

Bobby Hamilton Petty Enterprises Morgan/McClure STP Kodak

Bobby Hillin Bawe/Hillin ? Federal-Mogul/Jasper

Lance Hooper(R) Winston West/NCTS Bill Elliott{2}? New Holland?

Ron Hornaday(R) NCTS Andy Petree{2}? Copenhagen?

Ernie Irvan Robert Yates{1} Nelson Bowers Texaco Skittles

Kenny Irwin(R) NCTS Robert Yates{1} Texaco

Dale Jarrett Robert Yates{2} same Ford Qual./Ford Credit

Buckshot Jones(R) BGN self*# Aquafresh**

Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs{1} same Interstate

Terry Labonte Rick Hendrick{1} same Kellogg's

Kevin Lepage(R) BGN David Ridling? ?

Chad Little Rypien/Pollex Roush/Pollex% John Deere same

Dave Marcis self retired? RealTree

Sterling Marlin Morgan-McClure Felix Sabates{1}? Kodak Coors Light

Mark Martin Jack Roush{1} same Valvoline

Rick Mast Butch Mock same? Remington Arms

Jeremy Mayfield Kranefuss/Haas same Kmart/RC

Randy McDonald(R) self ? various

Ted Musgrave Jack Roush{2} same Fam Chnl/Primestar

Jerry Nadeau(R) various ?

Joe Nemechek Nemechek/Sabates same Bellsouth

Steve Park BGN Dale Earnhardt* Pennzoil

Kyle Petty Petty/Petty/Evans same Hot Wheels

Robert Pressley Gary Bechtel Doug Bawe? Cartoon Network ?

Willy T. Ribbs(R) SCCA Boone/Ribbs? ?

Ricky Rudd self same Tide

Greg Sacks Ranier/Walsh ? Hardee's

Ken Schrader Andy Petree same Skoal

Morgan Shepherd Richard Jackson same? various R&L/Precision?

Mike Skinner Richard Childress{2} same Lowe's

Lake Speed Harry Melling same no sponsor Cartoon Network

Jimmy Spencer Travis Carter same Camel

Billy Standridge Jim Wilson ? Hanes

Tim Steele(R) ARCA self*? HS Die**?

Tony Stewart(R) IRL Joe Gibbs{2}*# Shell

Hut Stricklin Stavola Bros. same Circuit City

Dick Trickle Junie Dunleavy same Heilig/Meyers

Kenny Wallace Fil Martocci same Square D

Mike Wallace Joe Falk ? SPAM

Rusty Wallace Penske/Wallace/Miller same Miller Lite

Darrell Waltrip self{1} same# W.A./Parts America ?

Michael Waltrip Wood Bros. same Citgo

? indicates unknown or rumored information. Drivers who have just a "?" and no other info currently have no 1998 ride confirmed. (R) indicates an ROTY-eligible driver. {} indicates a multi-car team. * indicates a new team. % indicates an ownership change. ** indicates a sponsor new or returned to WC. # indicates a team planning to run only a partial schedule

These 1997 teams/owners will close or leave WC: - Ranier/Walsh

These 1997 teams might close, not compete, or change for 1998: - Joe Falk (changed ownership; lost sponsor and driver) - Bud Moore (sponsorship; inactive most of 1997) - Mark Smith (sponsorship; inactive most of 1997)

These 1997 primary sponsors are not returning to WC: - Western Auto Parts America (was sponsoring Darrell Waltrip)

These 1997 primary sponsors have not made an announcement: - QVC (was sponsoring Geoff Bodine) - Realtree (was sponsoring Dave Marcis) - SPAM/Hormel (was sponsoring Ron Neal/Joe Falk team)

Teams and rumored teams with no announced driver for 1997: - Doug Bawe (existing team; was Bobby Hillin) - Nelson Bowers (existing team; was Derrike Cope) - David Blair (existing team; limited action in 1997 with various drivers) - Bill Elliott{2} (entered two races with Ron Barfield in 1997) - Erving/Washington (confirmed team, but no sponsor yet) - Morgan-McClure{2} (rumored team) - Petty Enterprises (existing team; was Bobby Hamilton) - Andy Petree{2} (rumored team) - Felix Sabates{1} (existing team; was Robby Gordon) - Sadler Bros. (existing team; was Gary Bradberry) - Don Shaver (may be moving up from BGN)

Rule changes for 1998: 1. Ford Taurus added to the list of eligible models. 2. GM SB2 cylinder heads approved for Chevy/Pontiac engines. 3. Compression limit will be reduced from 14:1 to 12:1. 4. Chassis with offset front or rear clips banned. 5. Goodyear becomes official spec tire brand.

David K. Cornutt, Huntsville, AL

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