Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-10-03

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - October 03, 1996 ------------------------------------------- More NASCAR Rules Changes... ------------------------------------------- NASCAR has once again announced more rule changes for the three manufacturers. The...

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - October 03, 1996

------------------------------------------- More NASCAR Rules Changes... ------------------------------------------- NASCAR has once again announced more rule changes for the three manufacturers. The changes go into effect as of October 2nd just in time for the race at Charlotte. The ground clearance changes as follows: Ford: 4.0 inches (No change); Chevrolet: 3.875 (up from 3.75); Pontiac: 3.75 (up from 3.5) Spoiler size changes are as follows: Ford: 6.0 (down from 6.25); Chevrolet: 5.75 (down from 6.0); Pontiac: 6.25 (down from 6.5).

In effect, Ford gains .125 inches on Chevrolet and .25 inches on Pontiac. Go figure...

------------------------------------------- Banjo Matthews Passed Away ------------------------------------------- Banjo Matthews, one of the best driver-owner-mechanic combinations in the history of NASCAR, died Wednesday following a long illness at the age of 64. Among the drivers he employed were legends such as Fireball Roberts, Speedy Thompson, Junior Johnson, A.J. Foyt, and Cale Yarborough.

------------------------------------------- Richard Petty Pleads Guilty ------------------------------------------- Last month, as Richard Petty drove home from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, he was involved in a traffic incident with James Rassette. Highway Patrol reports state that Petty's 1996 Dodge truck reportedly rammed into the back end of Rassette's 1996 Mazda. Petty has admitted he hit the vehicle while he was tailgaiting at about 70 MPH and the car ahead slammed on its brakes. Charges of hit and run were dropped against Petty, but both men were charged with reckless driving, paid a $65 fine, and accessed four points on their licenses. The whole situation has become highly charged political issue, since Petty (a Republican) is running for Secretary of State and the highway patrol is administered by the state's Governor, Jim Hunt (a Democrat).

------------------------------------------- Richard Petty Poster Contest ------------------------------------------- Register to win a special Richard Petty, King of Racing, 25 Years with STP Poster which is 22" X 33" in size, a $10.00 value. All you need to do is e-mail your Name, Address, Phone Number to "" the Ron Sports e-mail address. The Richard Petty Poster contest is open to anyone 18 years and older. Visit their web site for complete details and to view the posters. The URL is:

------------------------------------------- NASCAR Hands Out More Fines ------------------------------------------- NASCAR handed a $2,500 fine to Bill Wilburn, crew member of the Penske South & Rusty Wallace team, as a result of an altercation with driver Geoff Bodine during the MBNA 500 in Dover. This was a violation of Section 12, Rule 4, Article A of the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Rule Book, which addresses "actions deemed as detrimental to automobile racing or to NASCAR."

NASCAR officials have issued a $2.500 fine to Jimmy Means, crew chief for the Bud Moore & Wally Dallenbach, after a pre-race inspection revealed extra ignition boxes made of lead in the #15 Ford Thunderbird. This was a violation of Section 12, Rule 4, Article W of the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book, which talks about improperly secured weight.

------------------------------------------- CBS Does Daytona till 2001 ------------------------------------------- CBS has inked an extension with International Speedway Corporation to provide television coverage of the Daytona 500, and other associated events, until the year 2001.

------------------------------------------- ESPN& ABC Extend Contract ------------------------------------------- ESPN & ABC have also extended their contracts with the International Speedway Corporation for televising 18 races of the 31 race Winston Cup schedule. The Winston Cup events to be televised include the Transouth Financial 400 and Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C.; Winston Select 500 and Sears DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway; Bud at the Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

------------------------------------------- Kellogg's & Labonte New Paint ------------------------------------------- Terry Labonte will reveal a new paint job on the #5 Kellogg's car at the UAW-GM 500 at Charlotte next weekend. The new design will launch a brand new Kellogg's cereal called Honey Crunch Corn Flakes. This is the first time that Kellogg's has launched a brand new cereal through the NASCAR series.

------------------------------------------- N. Wilkesboro Celebrates ------------------------------------------- North Wilkesboro Speedway celebrated two special events during the NASCAR Tyson Holly Farms 400 race. They had a special commemorative ticket celebrating 50 years in auto racing at the speedway, as well as the contributions of Enoch Staley, the speedway's founder. In addition, this weekend will mark the last Winston Cup race at the race track. Rumors continue to persist that Dale Earnhardt is trying to purchase the speedway from its current owners, who each took one race to their tracks. Kenny Wallace made a comment about Earnhardt's intentions on This Week In NASCAR.

------------------------------------------- Martin to test in Texas ------------------------------------------- Mark Martin of the #6 Valvoline/Roush car will be conducting a tire test at the new Texas International Raceway next month on October 14th and 15th. The speedway, opps I mean raceway, is still under construction, but the final top coat - which will be leveled using a laser - is scheduled to be completed by early next week. Due to the construction at the track, this test will be closed to the public. Members of media will be present, so watch for reports.

------------------------------------------- Update on Robby Gordon ------------------------------------------- Robby Gordon is driving the #14 Racing For Kids car of Dale Earnhardt for the Charlotte Cup race this weekend. Felix Sabates and Dale Earnhardt have formed sort of a coalition to get Robby more seat time, in addition, Dale Earnhardt Inc's president, Don Hawk, will represent Team SABCO and Robby Gordon in all future business dealings. Robby had qualified the car in 13th place (not a lucky number apparently).

During practice at Charlotte, Robby Gordon wrecked the #14 car. It apparently is the only car that team had brought with them to Charlotte. Apparently, Joe Nemechek was a DNQ (did not qualify) for the race in the #87 Burger King car. Recent news has Sabates buying into the #87 team, and requesting that Robby Gordon get Nemechek's car that failed to qualify as a backup car for the race. They will apparently repaint the car, and allow Robby to start (at the back of the pack) the race.

------------------------------------------- Bruton Smith at it again.... ------------------------------------------- Bruton Smith, owner of Charlotte, Atlanta, and Bristol Motor Speedways and the new Texas International Raceway (gee, wonder why they all aren't Motor Speedways? :-) has announced that he will - once again - expand seating at Charlotte. CMS president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler unveiled plans for the new Diamond Tower Terrace, which has an estimated minimum cost of $12 million, will add an additional 26,000 seat structure, which also features 26 luxury suites, and will be ready for the Coca-Cola 600 Month activities next May. The announcement was made Monday in conjunction with the grand opening of Speedway Boulevard, a newly constructed state road directly connecting the speedway and U.S. Highway 29 with Interstate 85.

Guess we know where your "personal seat license" money is going now.....

------------------------------------------- Tour the Hendrick/Budweiser Shop ------------------------------------------- Take a virtual tour of the Hendrick Motorsports Budweiser Race Shop located in Harrisburg, NC, approximately two miles from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. See several different photos of the inner workings of the shop, including a photo of the practice area for the tire changers. The URL for the shop is:

------------------------------------------- Bill Davis Racing Web Site ------------------------------------------- Catch Bill Davis Racing, Ward Burton and the MBNA Pontiac on the internet by setting your web browser to their homepage located at this URL: The home page has information on their show car appearances, a photo gallery, info on the crew, and much more. Oh yes, don't forget to apply for your NASCAR MasterCard while you are surfing this web site.

------------------------------------------- Sadler Racing Web Site ------------------------------------------- Sadler Racing, owners of the '96 Ford Thunderbird driven by Gary Bradberry and sponsored by Shoney's/Shoney's Inn and Ultra Shield Car Care Products, has launched their Home Page on the World Wide Web. The URL is (of course):

------------------------------------------- Silly Season Web Sites ------------------------------------------- I have created a new home page for my Silly Season Central updates:

Also, there is another page for Silly Season rumors:

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

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Ward Burton , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Robby Gordon , Richard Petty , Junior Johnson , Felix Sabates , A.J. Foyt , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Bill Davis Racing