Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-07-10

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - July 10, 1996 ------------------------------------------- Milestones for three drivers ------------------------------------------- Three drivers have reached some pretty impressive milestones at the Pepsi 400 in ...

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - July 10, 1996

------------------------------------------- Milestones for three drivers ------------------------------------------- Three drivers have reached some pretty impressive milestones at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona this past weekend. Dave Marcis, the Prodigy Chevrolet driver, reached his 800th career Winston Cup start (with the help of a Childress engine). Rick Mast, the Hooters Pontiac pilot, started his 200th career Winston Cup race. And Wally Dallenbach, the Hayes Modems Ford driver started his 100th career Winston Cup race.

------------------------------------------- Bill Elliott back in driver's seat ------------------------------------------- Bill Elliott managed to qualify and race the #94 McDonald's Thunderbird at Daytona this past weekend, one full month ahead of the previously announced return for the Brickyard race. Bill had recently tested at Talladega - the same track at which he suffered a broken femur earlier this year - and was given the okay by doctors to go racing again. Elliott was unable to make it through the whole race though, and on lap 103 relinquished the wheel to relief driver Derrike Cope. But Elliott says he was happy with his day: "At least I was running. I was making laps, not sitting home watching it on TV." His comeback also puts to rest some speculation and rumors which said Elliott would retire due to his injuries.

------------------------------------------- NASCAR impounds three cars ------------------------------------------- After the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, NASCAR once again impounded three cars for wind tunnel testing: the #28 Texaco Ford Thunderbird of Ernie Irvan, the #24 Dupont Chevy of Jeff Gordon, and the #31 Pennzoil Pontiac of Johnny Benson Jr. Some sources report that more roof height changes are in the works for Ford.

------------------------------------------- Earnhardt wins halfway bonus ------------------------------------------- Earnhardt took home the $50,000 prize for leading the Winston Cup Points at the halfway point of the season, however, his lead is very slim. Terry Labonte is just 5 points behind Earnhardt, and reigning champ Jeff Gordon only 37 points behind.

------------------------------------------- Lowe's goes to Childress team ------------------------------------------- As I reported in the last notebook, Lowe's will end its association with Todd Bodine at the end of the '96 season and will sponsor a second Childress team next year with Mike Skinner as driver. The report was made official by a press announcement at the Firecracker 400 in Daytona this past weekend. Skinner drives for Childress in the Craftsman Truck series.

------------------------------------------- Grissom released early ------------------------------------------- Steve Grissom has been released as the driver for the #29 Cartoon Network car, and Greg Sacks will take over driver responsibilities on a race by race basis until full time replacement driver can be found. Grissom had previously been told that he could finish out the 96 season, but would not be returning to drive for the '97 season. Driver and crew chief difficulties were sighted as a possible reason for the split.

------------------------------------------- Petty to leave SABCO Team ------------------------------------------- After all the rumors surrounding this team, a recent announcement makes it official: Kyle Petty and Felix Sabates are going their separate ways after eight years together. Some say the stunt with the black & white Earnhardt-like paint job was the straw that broke the camels back. Rumors have Kyle back with Petty Enterprises driving a second car for his daddy, Richard. Hamilton would reportedly stay on as driver of the #43 STP Pontiac, and Kyle might pick up some team manager responsibilities as well.

------------------------------------------- Rusty in a Ford till 2000 ------------------------------------------- Rusty Wallace has reportedly signed a three year extension with Ford Motor Company, which should put him behind the wheel of a Ford through the year 2000.

------------------------------------------- Silly Season Rumors..... ------------------------------------------- Rumors continue to come from the garage area that say John Andretti is still in hot water with the #37 Kmart/Little Ceaser's Kranefuss/Haas team. One rumor has Kranefuss replacing Andretti with Robby Gordon next year. No official word from any of the parties though...

Another rumor has Robert Pressley out of the #33 Skoal Bandit next year. This one is based on Andy Petree assuming ownership of the team next year and Skoal leaving as sponsor. Again nothing official.

Seems that Childress isn't the only one adding a second team next year. Reports from the race tracks say that Morgan McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Car driven by Sterling Marlin, is looking at starting a second team with Jeff Purvis as the driver. No official statements yet, but this one is pretty much a sure thing.

------------------------------------------- RACeNEWS is offline ------------------------------------------- March Performance Group has reported that they suffered tornado related damages to their computer equipment, and have suspended their distribution of RACeNEWS and the TV:Schedule, offering weekly news subscriptions in their place or refunds of any balance. For more info, contact them directly at: E-mail: marchpg@mindspring.com WWW Site: www.mindspring.com/~marchpg Telephone/Fax: 770-386-0908

------------------------------------------- Hayes sponsors NASCAR Online ------------------------------------------- Hayes Modems, the primary sponsor of the Bud Moore-owned, Wally Dallenbach-driven Ford Thunderbird, has agreed to become a sponsor of NASCAR's web page, called NASCAR Online. Hayes is probably best known as the inventor of the PC modem, and was founded in 1977 by Chairman Dennis Hayes.

------------------------------------------- Circuit City expands involvement in NASCAR ------------------------------------------- Circuit City, the primary sponsor of the Stavola Brothers Ford Thunderbird driven by Hut Stricklin, is now the official Electronics and Appliance Retailer of NASCAR, and became a founding sponsor of the Daytona USA theme park which opened this past weekend in conjunction with the Pepsi 400.

------------------------------------------- TMS Plans Major Announcement ------------------------------------------- The Associated Press reports that Speedway developer Bruton Smith has scheduled "a monumental announcement" for this coming Thursday. They expect the announcement will be that the newly built Texas Motor Speedway track will host a Winston Cup race in March or April of 1997. The news report goes on to say that some 10,000 invitations were mailed, promising "a monumental announcement that will change the motorsports world forever."

------------------------------------------- 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 its accuracy cannot be completely guaranteed. Use of copyrights or trademarks are for descriptive fair-use purposes only.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Derrike Cope , Wally Dallenbach , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Hut Stricklin , Robert Pressley , Johnny Benson , Jeff Purvis , Dave Marcis , Rick Mast , Andy Petree , Steve Grissom , Greg Sacks , Felix Sabates