Friday news #2 97-08-15

NASCARFans E-Mail List Here's a summary of the past week's news regarding Rick Hendrick. This is to clear up some confusion I apparently created according to one of our readers. Tuesday, Rick gave up management control of his car...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

Here's a summary of the past week's news regarding Rick Hendrick. This is to clear up some confusion I apparently created according to one of our readers.

Tuesday, Rick gave up management control of his car dealerships to J.C. "Jim" Perkins (see brief story below). Yesterday he entered a surprise guilty plea agreement to one count of mail fraud, which was the least serious of 16 charges levied against him. In return for that plea and an agreement to work with the federal prosecutors in the ongoing investigation against Honda and other dealers, the other 15 charges were dropped. At the hearing, Hendrick appeared frail. He said little beyond answering ``yes, sir'' to questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Max O. Cogburn. The government was recommending a sentence of 10 to 16 months and a $250,000 fine, and would agree to allow Hendrick to serve the time in home detention because of his illness. Rick did not respond to questions about his change of heart as he left the courtroom. "Now, I intend to focus my energy on my battle with leukemia, which I intend to win," he said in a statement released yesterday by Hendrick Automotive Group. Hendrick is free on $25,000 unsecured bond pending sentencing, which is expected within the next 30 to 60 days.

For those of you who do so, please keep Rick Hendrick in your prayers for his physical needs. (thanks to C. H., Jayski, ESPN, and others)

J.C. "Jim" Perkins' career in the automobile industry has included the revitalizing of Chevrolet and launching the Lexus line of luxury cars for Toyota. His newest challenge is replacing Rick Hendrick as the head of one of the nation's largest automotive retailers. Hendrick, owner of one of NASCAR's most successful racing operations, announced Perkins' promotion this week in order to concentrate on his treatments to battle leukemia. (iRace)

Expect an announcement next week about the future of the John Deere #96 team. My source says this is most likely the rumored Roush takeover. (C. H.)

Former Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip will make his run in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 a trip down memory lane. Waltrip, who drove the No. 11 Junior Johnson-owned, Mountain Dew-sponsored Chevrolet during the 1981-82 seasons, will paint his No. 17 Western Auto Chevrolet in the familiar green-and-white color scheme that he wore during those two championship years. It will be the second of six ``historic'' cars Waltrip will drive to commemorate his Silver Anniversary Season. (charlotte.com)

Jayski reports that the Stavola Bros. team will use Ernie Elliott engines at Michigan this week. Earlier this week I gave you an unconfirmed report that Stavola Bros. had released their entire in-house engine staff.

Drivers expected to be strong this week at Michigan include Dale Jarrett, Ernie Irvan, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, and Mark Martin. Those with the possiblity of doing well could include Bobby Labonte (he swept both races in the past), John Andretti, Jeremy Mayfield, and Jeff Burton.

Mike Irwin (mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Junior Johnson , Mark Martin