Atlanta Saturday Notebook

PRIMESTAR 500 Saturday Notebook Dave Rodman - NASCAR Online HAMPTON, Ga. (March 7, 1998) For the fourth straight year, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt will carry a special paint scheme on his No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service...

PRIMESTAR 500 Saturday Notebook Dave Rodman - NASCAR Online

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 7, 1998) For the fourth straight year, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt will carry a special paint scheme on his No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet for the running of The Winston in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Earnhardt, who previously ran a "silver anniversary" car, an "Olympic special" and an orange "Wheaties" Monte Carlo in the "winners only" event -- scheduled May 16 at CMS -- will use a unique black and gold paint scheme with a "Bass Pro Shops" logo on the hood of his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

"The NASCAR fan and the outdoor enthusiast are one and the same," said Bill Fitzgerald, manager of sports marketing for General Motors Service Parts Operation. "We are excited to have Bass Pro Shops on our team and look forward to being a part of the salute to the American outdoorsman."

Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats joined Childress Racing as an associate sponsor at the beginning of the 1998 season. Earnhardt's cars carry their logos on their "B" pillars, with the exception of the special display for The Winston.

"I'm always asked, if I wasn't driving a race car, what would I do?" said Earnhardt, who won The Winston in 1987, 1990 and 1993. "My answer would be something involved with the outdoors. When I get away from the race track, I usually head to the woods or the nearest lake. It's my way to relax and get away from the phones.

"When they came to me and asked about carrying the Bass Pro Shops logo for The Winston, I thought it was a tremendous idea."

Action Performance will have a special die cast replica of the car as well as other souvenirs available. The car is scheduled to be on display through Monday, March 9, at Bass Pro Shops' Sportsman's Warehouse at 3825 Shackleford Rd. in Duluth, Ga.

According to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. engineers, pit stops in Sunday's PRIMESTAR 500 should come "every 90 to 100 miles, depending on fuel consumption."

The manufacturer has 1,162 each of its left side and right side tires on hand for the weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup activity. Goodyear tire tests were conducted at Atlanta by Dale Earnhardt and John Andretti, while Jeff Gordon conducted a similar test at Texas Motor Speedway.

"During tire tests held at the Atlanta and Texas tracks in January we focused on improving the right side tire wear issues experienced by many of the competitors during the Atlanta race last fall," said Tony Freund, Goodyear's lead engineer for stock cars.

The LJ Racing Chevrolet driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Kevin Lepage has received a one-race sponsorship from First Union for Sunday's PRIMESTAR 500.

The sponsorship for Joe Falk's car, which will start 34th, is in addition to the No. 46 First Union Chevrolet of driver Wally Dallenbach, which will start 12th.

"First Union is really helping us to continue in Winston Cup," said Falk. "We are still looking hard for a sponsor to come on board for the rest of the season. We helped First Union out by running its decals in the Daytona 500 (when Dallenbach failed to qualify) and now they are returning the favor. I am really pleased that First Union and Team SABCO recognized the potential in our race team."

Lepage has qualified for three of four races this season.

Several National Football League players will be in driver Kyle Petty's pits for Sunday's PRIMESTAR 500 as he debuts an associate sponsorship from PLAYERS INC. Among the players who will have assorted duties on Petty's pit crew are Atlanta Falcons Jamal Anderson and Ray Buchanan, Trace Armstrong of the Miami Dolphins, Andre Rison of the Kansas City Chiefs and Eddie George of the Tennessee Oilers.

Sterling Marlin didn't waste time fretting over not qualifying for Sunday's PRIMESTAR 500.

"I guess I'll go home and help (son) Steadman get his car ready for Nashville next weekend," said Marlin, who had gotten off to a good start, relatively speaking, this season until qualifying for the AMS race was rained out. "I knew we were in trouble if it rained -- I knew we would go to the house." It just wasn't good enough (qualifying 40th in Bud Pole Qualifying Friday. "It's beyond our control what they did last year -- 40th in (owner) points. There's nothing to be mad about. I knew coming into the deal with Felix (Sabates) that if we got through the first four races (when 1998 car owner points are used for assigning provisionals) we would be OK. You can't do anything about circumstances like this. It rained, we got two laps on the race track...and I'm going to the house."

Applications are now being accepted for the "Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship," a four-year scholarship in the memory of the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

To be eligible, high school seniors must: 1) Apply and be admissible to UNC Charlotte, 2) Show evidence of NASCAR involvement (family member works in the sport, etc. and 3) Show evidence of academic achievement and financial need. The deadline for applications is April 1. Applications may be obtained from the UNC Charlotte Admissions Office by calling (704) 547-2019.

Ford Credit, co-sponsor of driver Dale Jarrett's No. 88 Robert Yates Racing Ford, announced Saturday morning that it, in addition to Jarrett and his wife, Kelley, would support breast cancer research and prevention in 1998.

Ford Credit will donate, in Jarrett's name, money to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer

Foundation of Dallas, Texas, based on Jarrett's on-track performance. The foundation will receive $10,000 for each of Jarrett's victories, $7,500 for a second and $5,000 each for third place finishes and Bud Poles.

Jarrett credited his wife, mother and daughters for much of his success and said recognition and elimination of the disease, which statistics show afflicted one out of every nine women in the country last year (180,000), was a priority. Ford Credit presented its first $5,000 check Saturday morning by virtue of Jarrett's first Bud Pole Award, at the Las Vegas 400 last weekend.

By qualifying for the PRIMESTAR 500, No. 22 MBNA America Pontiac driver Ward Burton will exceed the $3 million mark in career NASCAR Winston Cup Series winnings in Sunday's race. His purse of $64,100 in last weekend's Las Vegas 400 brought him within $327 of $3 million in slightly more than four years -- and 116 starts -- in the NWCS.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Ward Burton , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Dale Jarrett , Kyle Petty , Kevin Lepage , Sterling Marlin , Robert Yates , Alan Kulwicki
Teams Richard Childress Racing