AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN MARCH 1, 1998 The GM opposition could say "Ford Taurus up" as the Ford Taurus took its first-ever point-paying NASCAR Winston Cup win Sunday in the Las Vegas 400 with Mark Martin (Valvoline Roush...
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN MARCH 1, 1998
The GM opposition could say "Ford Taurus up" as the Ford Taurus took its first-ever point-paying NASCAR Winston Cup win Sunday in the Las Vegas 400 with Mark Martin (Valvoline Roush Ford Taurus) leading the way. The Taurus took nine of the Top Ten positions and thirteen of the first fifteen. Roush put all five of its entries in the Top Ten, an apparent Winston Cup record as ARA could not locate an instance with five Kiekhaefer-owned racers in the Top Ten in 1955 or 1956. Martin became the second driver to requalify for ARA's Consistent Winners list with a 1998 victory. Martin's win streak began in 1978 in ASA and ARTGO and also includes ARCA, ASA Gran Marque, PSCR GTS, and NASCAR Northwest Tour and Craftsman Truck wins. The win was only Martin's second in Winston Cup in February or March. His only other pre-April Winston Cup win? February 25, 1990. He then didn't win again until August 19, 1990. The only other seasons with his first Winston Cup win of the season in the "first half" of the Winston Cup season? April 26, 1992; April 30, 1995; May 4, 1997. Jimmy Spencer (Zippo Spencer Chevrolet Monte Carlo) gave the Bowtie Brigade its third consecutive 1998 NASCAR Busch Grand National win by taking victory in Saturday's Sam's Town 300. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (AC Delco Earnhardt Chevrolet Monte Carlo) was a close second. Ineligible for 1998 Rookie of the Year honors due to eight 1997 BGN starts, Dale, Jr. is nevertheless ahead of Steve Park's 1997 pace for a first full-season effort in the Earnhardt ride. Steve's best finish in the first three events of 1997 was third in 1997's third race (Richmond). Park didn't better the third-place finish until he scored his first win in race #10 at Nashville. After three 1997 BGN races, Mark Martin and Ford had two wins to one for Chevrolet and Randy Lajoie. Las Vegas was race #4 in 1997 and Jeff Green won in the Bechtel Chevrolet; Park was eighth and Spencer 27th. Kevin Harvick (Spears Chevrolet Monte Carlo) won the Las Vegas NASCAR Winston West race to even the Chevrolet-Ford 1998 Winston West battle at one win apiece. Harvick is now the point leader as well. He won from the pole and led 89 of 100 laps. Jac Haudenschild (Elden Maxim Chevrolet) won the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Sprint Car opener at Manzanita; Mark Kinser won the season's second race in his new-style Chevrolet-powered Karl Kinser mount and has taken the point lead. Haudenschild became only the ninth driver in twenty-one (21) WoO seasons (1978-1998) to win the season-opener. Steve Kinser has won seven WoO season-openers (1983 through 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, and 1996), Sam Swindell four (1982, 1986, 1992, and 1997), Doug Wolfgang three (1979 through 1981), Dave Blaney two (1990, 1993), and one each for Jimmy Boyd (1978), Brad Doty (1987), Jeff Swindell (1989), Mark Kinser (1995), and Haudenschild (1998).
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