WINSTON SELECT 500 PRE-RACE NOTES
LARRY McREYNOLDS (Crew chief No. 28 Texaco Havoline Ford) -- Actually we feel better, probably, about this engine than anything we've put in there since we had the problem on Friday (in NASCAR- sanctioned chassis dynamometer test that was done at the request of the NASCAR Winston Cup car owners and that damaged the team's qualifying/race engine). We took the cylinder heads off that engine that we qualified with, because certainly the cylinder heads and intake combination is a big part of this restrictor plate engine. Then we dug out the short block off of a motor that we won the 125 (Gatorade Qualifying Race for the Daytona 500) with in February. We'll just see what happens when they drop the green. We pretty much had everything here and NASCAR was good enough to let us work last night for a while and let us come in early. If you're in this sport and you make decisions, whether you're Gary Nelson or Larry McReynolds or whoever -- you're always gonna look back and say 'I wish I'd'a done this different or have done that... I know for a fact that Gary Nelson regrets probably more than any human being in this garage, what happened on Friday. I think we made the most of it and I think fate's gonna play a role here.
POSTED AWARDS: Posted Awards for today's Winston Select 500 are $1,541,696, including a $70,000 NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus available to the Winston Cup point leader if he wins the Winston Select 500 and a $15,200 Unocal 76 Challenge Bonus available to Busch Pole Award winner Ernie Irvan if he can win the race.
HONORARY OFFICIALS: The Grand Marshal of the Winston Select 500 is Glen Browder, Alabama's Third Congressional District Representative to the United States Congress, who pronounced the command to start engines. Honorary Starter was Frank D'Amico III, executive vice president of Birmingham Tobacco Company.
THE NUMBERS GAME: For driver Elton Sawyer and the David Blair MotorSports team the number 27 has extraordinary significance this week. The 12-year veteran of the NASCAR Busch Series starts his 27th NASCAR Winston Cup Series race today -- all in car No. 27. He begins his second year of Winston Cup racing today. Sawyer stayed in room 127 at his motel this week, and he revealed his in-room movie Saturday night cost $8.27, his Sunday morning brunch was $2.70 and the Saturday evening dinner bought by car owner David Blair was $27 and change. "I could also give you $27,000 good reasons this car would make a great sponsorship opportunity for any corporation," Blair added. "I do feel like a 27-year-old, so that should be a good sign," quipped Sawyer, who qualified 28th for the Winston Select 500, on Sunday morning, "We could have been 27th but that would have been carrying this numerology bit a little too far."
JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEY -- (The Olympic gold medal-winning athlete is on hand today at Talladega as a guest of McDonald's, with husband/trainer/Olympic athlete Al Joyner.) This is my first time to see a NASCAR event live. McDonald's has given me the opportunity to learn more and more about NASCAR. The one thing that I truly admire about the racers is that you can get motivation from some and be inspired by others. That theme of never giving up or never letting anything stop you from achieving your dreams is so prevalent here. They get in those cars and they go around the track and their lives are on the line but mentally and physically, they pull it off. For an athlete like myself striving to do my best, it is so encouraging to know that you never give up on yourself, regardless of what situation that you might be in and I have gained that just from my knowledge of learning more and more about NASCAR as well as the different people that are driving the cars.
LOGA TRIBUTE: As a tribute to ARCA President Bob Loga, who suffered fatal injuries in an automobile accident on Friday on the Speedway grounds, the NASCAR Winston Cup officials working today's Winston Select 500 will wear ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Supercar Series caps. The tribute was coordinated by Winston Cup official Jimmy Cox, who worked with Loga when the long-time ARCA official assisted as a NASCAR official on combination weekends. Loga passed away on Saturday afternoon at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham. Bedford Funeral Chapel in Temperance, Mich., is in charge of funeral arrangements. Visitation will be Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 1 to 9 p.m. Services will be Wednesday at 1 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Temperance. Memorials should be made to: The Monroe County Special Olympics in the name of Bob Loga in care of: ARCA; PO Box 5217; Toledo, OH 43611.
DAYTONA USA UPDATE: Construction continues on schedule at DAYTONA USA, the "Ultimate Motorsports Attraction" scheduled to open on Friday, July 5, during Pepsi 400 race week at Daytona International Speedway. Ticket prices have been set for the attraction and the Jack Roush Ford Mustang that 70-year-old Paul Newman drove to a class victory in the 1995 Rolex 24 At Daytona IMSA event at Daytona is the latest race car to be installed in the attraction. Information on both subjects is available from Daytona's Dave Rodman (x-4947). For DAYTONA USA information call 904-947-6782.