Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-08-29

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - August 29, 1996 ------------------------------------------- Winston Cup Schedule for '97 ------------------------------------------- A while ago I reported that the 1997 Winston Cup schedule might appear in late...

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - August 29, 1996

------------------------------------------- Winston Cup Schedule for '97 ------------------------------------------- A while ago I reported that the 1997 Winston Cup schedule might appear in late August, which is earlier than the usual release after the banquet in December. Reports from around the web say it looks like NASCAR will release the 1997 Winston Cup schedule this coming weekend. So if you see it before Sunday, I was right. If not, I was close!

------------------------------------------- New NASCAR Rules Changes ------------------------------------------- Guess all that whining by Hendrick paid off, as Chevy will get another concession in time for Darlington. The Monte Carlo will get to add 1/4 inch to the rear spoiler and 1/4 inch to the front air dam. This just in time for Jarrett's run at the Winston Million.

NASCAR is attempting to regulate and/or standardize the cold air box for the intake. They would like to prohibit different styles of breathers and cowls which regulate the air flow to the carb.

NASCAR will also reportedly standardize the quarterpanel heights for all tracks. Previously, the left side was a minimum of 34 inches and the right side was a minimum of 35 inches for Daytona and Talladega.

Previous year's champion will not get the first choice of pit stalls for next year. However, this rule is still being reviewed and may be withdrawn.

All engines will be limited to 14:1 compression ratio for next year. Currently, the only limit on compression ratio is for the restrictor plate race engines. This rule is expected to drop speed at the larger non-restrictor plate race tracks.

The driver's weight will be included in the minimum weight of the car for next year. Previously, the car was weighed without the driver. This rule was intended to level field between small and big drivers, but is expected to benefit the smaller guys, because they can better position the weight in the car for various tracks.

Testing next year will be limited to NASCAR scheduled open testing on a day prior to each race, with the exception of Daytona. This eliminates private test sessions which is intended to level the playing field between single-car and multi-car teams, as well as limit the expense of testing.

------------------------------------------- NASCAR to the Big Apple ------------------------------------------- From its roots which stem from the deep south, NASCAR will move north and open offices in the New York City. For years, NASCAR has visited the Big Apple for its awards banquet, but it will now have a branch office on Park Ave, which will house a full-time sponsorship sales staff.

------------------------------------------- Jasper Motorsports PR ------------------------------------------- Doug Bawel, president of Jasper Motorsports, announced the commitment of Federal-Mogul and Jasper Engines & Transmissions to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for the 1997 season. He also announced that Troy Selberg will be the new team manager and crew chief. Selberg has been a crew chief in the Winston Cup Series for the past five years, and recently was crew chief for Butch Mock Motorsports.

------------------------------------------- John Andretti & Jeremy Mayfield ------------------------------------------- According to an AP story, John Andretti (#37 Kmart/Little Ceaser's) will drive the #98 RCA Ford of Cale Yarborough in 1997. Andretti signed a three-year deal with Cale Yarborough, and apparently appealed directly to sponsor RCA, headquartered in his hometown of Indianapolis.

Another news story reports that Andretti and Jeremy Mayfield will switch seats next year. It is expected that Kranefuss/Haas will make an announcement about the switch from Andretti to Mayfield at Darlington this weekend.

------------------------------------------- Joe Gibbs recovers Super Bowl Ring ------------------------------------------- During an autograph session at the Brickyard 400, Gibbs' Super Bowl ring commemorating the Washington Redskins' 1992 Super Bowl victory was stolen. Gibbs appealed to the person who had it to give it back and said no questions would be asked. The ring showed up in an anonymous package mailed to Gibbs, who owns the #18 Chevrolet Monte Carlos driven by Bobby Labonte.

------------------------------------------- Silly Season Central ------------------------------------------- Since the silly season seems to be in full swing, I thought I would try to provide a team by team look at next year. When it says no changes, that means I do not know of any changes to date. I'll try to keep this updated with each notebook published.

#1 Hooters Pontiac - Rick Mast leaves to drive the #75 car with no word on a replacement driver yet. Hooters may be replaced by Skoal.

#2 Miller Ford - no changes for Penske or Rusty Wallace.

#3 GM Goodwrench Chevy - no changes, except Childress to add 2nd team with Lowe's as sponsor and Mike Skinner as driver.

#4 Kodak Chevy - no changes, except Morgan-McClure to add 2nd team with AT&T as sponsor and Jeff Pervis as driver.

#5 Kellogg's Corn Flakes Chevy - no changes for Hendrick and Terry Labonte.

#6 Valvoline Ford - no changes for Mark Martin and Roush Racing.

#7 QVC Ford - no changes for Geoff Bodine.

#8 Circuit City Ford - no changes for Stavola Bros. and Hut Stricklin.

#9 Spam Ford - no changes for Melling and Lake Speed.

#10 Tide Ford - no changes Ricky Rudd.

#11 Lowe's Ford - Brett Bodine loses Lowe's, still no replacement sponsor announced.

#12 Badcock Ford - no changes for Allison and Derrike Cope.

#14 Racing for Kids Chevy - unknown about Dale Earnhardt's new team with Jeff Green as driver.

#15 Hayes Modems Ford - no changes for Bud Moore and Wally Dallenbach.

#16 Family Channel/PrimeStar Ford - Roush PR says both sponsors have renewed for next year, and Musgrave will stay on as the driver.

#17 Parts America Chevy - no changes for Darrell Waltrip's team.

#18 Interstate Batteries Chevy - no changes for Joe Gibbs and Bobby Labonte.

#19 HealthSource Chevy - no changes for TriStar and Loy Allen Jr.

#21 Citgo Ford - no changes for Wood Bros. and Michael Waltrip.

#22 MNBA Pontiac - Ward Burton reportedly will take over the #25 seat potentially vacated by Kenny Schrader. No word on a replacement for Ward Burton.

#23 Smokin' Joes Ford - no changes for Travis Carter or Jimmy Spencer, but may lose ability to run Smokin Joe's logo with new FDA regulations.

#24 Dupont Chevy - no changes for Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports.

#25 Budweiser Chevy - Kenny Schrader will reportedly leave and go to the #33 car. Hendrick is reportedly looking at Ward Burton as the replacement. Budweiser sponsorship in jeopardy if Kenny leaves.

#27 Sponsor? Ford - this is the defunct ex-Jr. Johnson team that is now owned by David Blair. Mike Hill is still crew chief. They released Elton Sawyer, and Jason Keller earlier this year. Todd Bodine is reportedly working out a deal with a sponsor to run a few races this year beginning with Darlington.

#28 Havoline Ford - no announced changes for Ernie Irvan and Robert Yates, but there is no shortage of controversy surrounding this team.

#29 Cartoon Network Chevy - Diamond Ridge Motorsports released Steve Grissom earlier this year. Currently, Grag Sacks has been driving.

#30 Pennzoil Pontiac - no changes for Bahari Racing and Johnny Benson Jr.

#31 RealTree Camouflage Chevy - Richard Childress is running a limited schedule with this sponsor and Mike Skinner as driver. Next year, Lowe's will sponsor this team with Mike Skinner as driver.

#33 Skoal Pontiac - Robert Pressley leaves the leo Jackson team next year. Kenny Schrader reportedly will take over the ride, and may bring Budweiser with him.

#37 Kmart/Little Ceaser's Ford - Tim Brewer has quit as crew cheif for Kranefuss & Haas. John Andretti will leave and go to the #98 RCA Ford, replacing Jeremy Mayfield. Jeremy Mayfield reportedly will swap places with Andretti and drive this car next year.

#40 First Union Pontiac - Sabco Racing tried to run this car on a limited schedule with jay Sauter as driver. No word on plans for this team next year.

#41 Kodiak Chevy - Ricky Craven and Hedricks Racing formed a new team co-ownership earlier this year. No plans have been announced for this team.

#42 Coors Light Pontiac - Kyle Petty and Felix Sabates have announed they will part ways, and its official that Robby Gordon will take over as driver next year. Kyle is still trying to form his own team, with last word that he may in fact go back to Petty Enterprises with Mug Root Beer as sponsor.

#43 STP Pontiac - Bobby Hamilton announced that he has signed a contract extension with Richard Petty for 1997. Richard Petty is holding a contest to determine a new color scheme for next year.

#46 Independent Home Cable Chevy - Dean Monroe bought the team from A.G. Dillard Motorsports. Stacy Compton has been selected to drive the car and will reportedly run for Rookie of the year title in 1997. No sponsor announced yet.

#71 Prodigy Chevy - Prodigy had sponsored Dave Marcis in this car for 1996, but no word if they will renew for 1997.

#75 Remington Arms Ford - Morgan Shepard will vacate this seat, after much controversy surrounded this Butch Mock Motorsports team earlier this year. Rick Mast has signed a 3-year deal to take over as driver in 1997 with Remington as sponsor. Morgan is reportedly trying to form his own team.

#77 Jasper/Federal-Mogul Ford - This team recently announced that Jasper Engines & Transmission and Federal Mogul will return as sponsors next year. They have also recently added Troy Selberg as team manager and crew chief. Bobby Hillin Jr. should return as driver, since he is part owner of the team.

#78 Diamond Rio & Hanes Team - unsure of the status of this team. Randy McDonald had planned to run for Rookie of the Year in 1996.

#81 Square D Ford - 81 FilMar Racing announced that Square D and TIC Financial will return as sponsors next year, Eddie Jones will become team manager and Kenny Wallace will remain the driver.

#87 Burger King Chevy - no changes planned for Joe Nemechek's team.

#88 Quality Care Ford - no changes for Dale Jarrett and Robert Yates.

#90 Heilig-Meyers Ford - Dick Trickle has taken over as driver for Junie Donlavey, but no word if he will retain that seat next year.

#94 McDonald's Ford - Bill Elliott recently bought out Charles Hardy's portion of the team, and now retains full ownership. No other changes have been announced for next year.

#95 Shoney' Inn Ford - Sadler Motorsports has released Chuck Bown and hired Gary Bradberry to drive this car in selected races this year. You remember this car from Bristol, where everyone seemed to use it as a pin ball.

#97 John Deere Pontiac - Rypien Motorsports is running a limited schedule this year with Chad Little as driver. The team plans to eventually run a full Winston Cup schedule.

#98 RCA Ford - Cale Yarborough will have John Andretti (from #37) replace Jeremy Mayfield for next year, and will retain RCA sponsorship. Jeremy will reportedly swap rides with Andretti and take over the #37 seat next year.

#99 Exide Batteries Ford - no changes for Jeff Burton and Roush Racing.

#? - Kyle Petty to form new team?

#? Morgan Shepard to form new team?

------------------------------------------- Happy Motoring :-) =Ken= E-Mail: or CyberHome:

Please contact me if you wish to repost or redistribute this notebook, or wish to be added to the distribution list.

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. The opinions expressed are my own, and not my employer's.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Derrike Cope , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Dick Trickle , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Elton Sawyer , Robby Gordon , Hut Stricklin , Robert Pressley , Stacy Compton , Johnny Benson , Ricky Craven , Chad Little , Dave Marcis , Rick Mast , Tim Brewer , Richard Petty , Randy McDonald , Gary Bradberry , Robert Yates , Felix Sabates , Bobby Hillin Jr. , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports