Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-05-24

Ken's NASCAR Notebook May 24, 1996 ------------------------------------------- Bob Dole visits Charlotte ------------------------------------------- Senator Bob Dole, who will reportedly resign as Senate Majority Leader in early June in ...

Ken's NASCAR Notebook May 24, 1996

------------------------------------------- Bob Dole visits Charlotte ------------------------------------------- Senator Bob Dole, who will reportedly resign as Senate Majority Leader in early June in order to pursue his hopes of being nominated as the Repulican Presidental Candidate, attended the Winston Select All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this past weekend.

Dole, who served as grand marshal of the event, was greated at the airport by Richard Petty, a well-known Republican supporter and candidate for North Carolina's Secretary of State. Dole attended a fundraiser in Humpy Wheeler's office at the speedway, toured the corporate suites high a top the grandstands to talk with fans, made his way into the garage area to mingle with the teams, and rode around the speedway in a pre-race parade lap.

------------------------------------------- IROC at Charlotte ------------------------------------------- Mark Martin won the first IROC series race at Charlotte, leading every lap of the event. The race was interupted for one caution period, when Jeff Gordon got together with Steve Kinser resulting in a multicar pile up which eliminated Kinser, Dale Earnhardt, Sterling Marlin and Robby Gordon. The win moved Martin into third place in the IROC points standings, behind Jeff Gordon (1st) and Al Unser Jr. (2nd).

See some video of the crash at the following URL:

ABC Sports will televise the Charlotte IROC race Saturday, August 3rd at 4:30 pm (EDT). The final round of the series is scheduled to be held on August 17th at Michigan International Speedway.

------------------------------------------- Update on Injured Drivers ------------------------------------------- Ricky Craven was complaining of pain after his laps in the Winston Open, and will likely have a replacement driver on standby for the longest race of the season, the Coca Cola 600.

Robert Pressley is still recovering from a fractured rib he recieved when he crashed his #33 car during Winston practice last Friday. Andy Hillenburg drove the #33 Skoal Bandit for the Winston Open on Saturday night. Although no official announcement has been, some say that Greg Sacks may be asked to practice and qualify for the Coca Cola 600. Pressley will reportedly try to start the 600 mile race in the car and run one lap, before turning over the wheel to his replacement driver.

Bill Elliott is on crutches and cannot put any weight on his injured leg, and is undergoing daily therapy and bi-weekly check ups. Todd Bodine is scheduled to replace Elliott starting with the Coca Cola 600. Elliott is reportedly hoping to get behind the wheel for the Brickyard 400 race at Indy, but has made it clear that he will not attempt to drive again until the doctors give the okay. Also, Elliott reportedly admitted his accident at Talladega was his own fault, when he spun to avoid Chuck Bown.

------------------------------------------- Tony Stewart to miss Red Dog 300 ------------------------------------------- Ranier-Walsh Racing Enterprises announced that they have withdrawn Tony Stewart from Saturday's running of the Busch SeriesRed Dog 300 at Charlotte, and will attempt to replace him with a Winston Cup driver.

Stewart's fellow teammate and front row companion for the Indy 500, Scott Brayton, was killed in an accident while testing the Menard's fifth car. The team owners (Harry Ranier, Tom Walsh, Buddy Johnson) feel that it would be unfair to ask Tony and his team to leave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and focus their attention on a different racing venue.

Tony Stewart will be behind the wheel for the next BGN race in Dover, Delaware and will compete in selected Busch Grand National races for the remainder of the 1996. The team also still intends to follow through with their intent to compete in the 1997 Winston Cup Series.

------------------------------------------- Bobby Allison's new sponsor ------------------------------------------- Bobby Allison's Winston Cup, with driver Derrike Cope, has signed on Badcock Home Furnishings as the #12 team's new primary sponsor. The team's former primary sponsor, Mane & Tail, will reduce their involvement to the role of associate sponsor.

Cope is running a limited Busch Series schedule in the #26 FoxCo Ford also sponsored by Badcock so the expansion to Winston Cup was a natural progression for the Mulberry, FL corporation.

------------------------------------------- Lowe's Celebrates 50th Anniversary ------------------------------------------- Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouses will celebrate their 50th Anniversary by painting Brett Bodine's #11 Ford Thunderbird in gold for race at Charlotte.

Lowe's was founded in 1946 by H. Carl Buchan, and began as a small hardware store in North Wilkesboro, N.C. In February of this year, Lowe's extended its involvement with NASCAR when it became the "Official Home Improvement Warehouse of NASCAR."

------------------------------------------- Earnhardt changes colors, too ------------------------------------------- For the second year in a row, Earnhardt did not run the famous black #3 for the Winston at Charlotte. This year the #3 car carried patriotic colors to pay tribute to the 100th anniversaries of the automobile's introduction in the United States and the modern Olympic Games.. Last year, the color was changed, to Silver to celebrate R.J. Reynold's 25th anniversary as the sponsor of NASCAR's Winston Cup Series.

------------------------------------------- Shepard changes colors, not teams. ------------------------------------------- Morgan Shepard will be behind the wheel of a different color car at Charlotte, but it will still be the #75 Remington Arms Ford Thunderbird fielded by Mock Motorsports. Instead of the deep emerald green, Shepard's car will be painted in a hunting camouflage colored pattern.

Shepard and team owner Butch Mock has exchanged words after the Save Mart 300 in California, and Shepard reported to the news media that he had been released. The next day, Mock reported that it had all been a misunderstanding, and that Shepard was still employed as the driver of the #75 car.

------------------------------------------- Sear Point is on the Web ------------------------------------------- Sears Point Raceway, located 35 minutes north of San Francisco in Sonoma, California, just announced their new World Wide Web Site at URL:

Sears Point Online features: Event Information on all Sears Point Races, A Comprehensive Track Map, Online Ticket Ordering, Popular Racing Links, Sears Point News and much more! Sears Point hosts NASCAR, IMSA, Trans-Am, NHRA and Vintage Races throughout the year. For information, mail to

------------------------------------------- See it from Earnhardt's view ------------------------------------------- NASCAR Online has a video on their web site from the Winston Select where you get a view from Dale Earnhardt's perspective as he drifts up and bumps Terry Labonte and then has to watch Michael Waltrip slip by on the inside.

The URL is: (Caution, it is a 803k AVI file).

------------------------------------------- Rusty swaps Killer for Midnight ------------------------------------------- Rusty Wallace used "Killer" to win the Save Mart 300 at Sears Point, but will opt for "Midnight" at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with "Captain" on hand as backup car. Yes, those are the names of the different chassis from Penske's shop.

------------------------------------------- Happy Motoring :-) =Ken=

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Disclaimer: The information contained herein was compiled from a variety of sources, including the rumor mill and the grapevine, so the accuracy cannot be completely guaranteed.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Brett Bodine , Derrike Cope , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Robby Gordon , Robert Pressley , Al Unser Jr. , Ricky Craven , Richard Petty , Steve Kinser , Bobby Allison , Mark Martin