AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN AUGUST 30, 1998 Jeff Gordon's victory (DuPont Hendrick Chevrolet Monte Carlo) in the Farm Aid on CMT 300 NASCAR Winston Cup race at New Hampshire was his ninth victory of 1998 and came in race...
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN
AUGUST 30, 1998
Jeff Gordon's victory (DuPont Hendrick Chevrolet Monte Carlo) in the Farm Aid on CMT 300 NASCAR Winston Cup race at New Hampshire was his ninth victory of 1998 and came in race #23, the same pace Jeff set in 1997 when he took his ninth victory of 1997 in the 23rd race of that season, the Darlington Southern 500. He took his tenth win in race #25, September 14 at New Hampshire. When Jeff won ten races in 1996, he scored his ninth win in race #26 (September 22 at Martinsville) and his tenth victory in race #27 (September 29 at North Wilkesboro). Jeff's pace is still behind the "modern era" season victory recordholding pace of Richard Petty in 1975; King Richard took his ninth 1975 win in race #20, tenth win in race #22, eleventh win in race #23, twelfth win in race #25, and thirteenth win in race #28.
Damon Hill (Benson & Hedges Jordan Jordan 198-Mugen Honda V10) won the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa; Damon has won three times at Spa, while his father Graham never won the Belgian GP at Spa. The victory was the first ever for the Jordan team and was a 1-2 with Ralf Schumacher taking second. First-time "breakthrough" team wins are rare in contemporary F1, as the most recent before Sunday's took place October 12, 1986 at Mexico City when Gerhard Berger scored Benetton's first win in a BMW Turbo-powered Benetton B186. Mugen Honda is the fifth powerplant marque Jordan has used in its eight-year (1991-1998) history. The 1998 Spa victory was Mugen Honda's first win since Olivier Panis won at Monaco on May 19, 1996 in a Mugen Honda-powered Ligier JS43. Prior to Mugen Honda, Jordan has utilized Cosworth Ford, Yamaha, Hart, and Peugeot engines. Jordan's best previous two-car result was a 2-3 finish (Rubens Barrichello-Eddie Irvine) in the June 11, 1995 Montreal event behind Jean Alesi's winning Ferrari. On Sunday Alesi was third in a Petronas Ferrari-powered Sauber. In 1997 Giancarlo Fisichella was second for Jordan at Spa; Michael Schumacher made his GP debut driving a Jordan in the 1991 Spa GP while Alex Zanardi drove the last three 1991 GPs for Jordan. The Jordan team made its debut in the March 10, 1991 United States Grand Prix on the Phoenix street course; Andrea DeCesaris failed to prequalify but Bertrand Gachot started fourteenth and placed tenth, his Cosworth Ford engine failing six laps from the finish. Prior to becoming an entrant, Eddie Jordan was a driver, winning the 1978 Irish Formula Atlantic championship with eleven race wins. Eddie competed in Formula 3 in 1979 and 1980, ranking eleventh in 1979 British points, ninth in 1980 British points, and 17th in 1980 European F3 points. In 1981 he competed in FIA Sportscar World Championship events sharing a Porsche 908/3 with Siggi Brunn; the duo shared a Group 6 3000 cc class win in the Monza 1000 Kilometers and won Group 6 in the Silverstone 6 Hours. Damon Hill now ranks tied for fourth ranking in World Championship race wins at Spa; Ayrton Senna leads with five, followed by Jim Clark and Michael Schumacher at four apiece and Damon Hill and Juan Manuel Fangio at three each. There have been thirty-three World Championship GP races held at Spa, with seventeen drivers achieving victories. In addition to the drivers with three or more wins, Alberto Ascari and Alain Prost scored two apiece with single victories being scored (in chronological order) by Giuseppe Farina, Peter Collins, Tony Brooks, Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, Pedro Rodriguez, and Nigel Mansell. The last seven GPs (1992 through 1998) at Spa have been won by either Damon Hill or Michael Schumacher and the last eleven (1988-1998) by either Senna, Hill, or Schumacher.
Kenny Brack (Power Team Foyt Dallara-Oldsmobile-Goodyear) won Saturday night's Atlanta 500 K IRL race and became the first driver to win three consecutive IRL events as he took the point lead. Brack's achievement of the first IRL three-race win streak puts him in pretty exalted company. Ralph DePalma was the first driver to achieve a three-race ChampCar win streak under AAA sanction in 1912; Jimmy Bryan was the first to win three consecutive ChampCar races under USAC sanction in 1956, and Bobby Unser was the first to win three consecutive ChampCar races under CART sanction in 1979.
Tony Raines (Pennzoil Roehrig Ford F150) won Saturday's Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck event at Louisville; the win was the fourth of Raines' NCTS career and his third of 1998. Tony is on target to challenge the NCTS season win record for Ford drivers, set by Joe Ruttman in 1997 with five victories.