Ken's NASCAR Notebook 97-05-19

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - May 19, 1997 ------------------------------------------- The Winston Winner ------------------------------------------- Sporting a completely new car, both inside and outside, Jeff Gordon was able to drive to the front...

Ken's NASCAR Notebook - May 19, 1997

------------------------------------------- The Winston Winner ------------------------------------------- Sporting a completely new car, both inside and outside, Jeff Gordon was able to drive to the front from the second to last starting position and win the prestigous non-points event. Gordon joins the late Davey Allison as the only drivers to win this race twice. Dale Earnhardt is the only driver to win the race more than twice - he's won it three times.

------------------------------------------- Changing Colors at Charlotte ------------------------------------------- The Winston seems to have become the race at which the teams are more willing to try something new, including paint jobs. Earnhardt's usual black #3 was orange for the debut of the Wheaties deal. Gordon's rainbow colored #24 car sported the "Jurassic Park - The Ride" theme as part of a promotion with Universal Studios. Mike Waltrip's #21 Citgo ride got spots as part of the Walt Disney's "101 Dalmations" promotion. Jeremy Mayfield's #37 car sported a new theme for the Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs program by racing in its white and yellow color scheme.

------------------------------------------- Kodak team changes colors ------------------------------------------- While most teams change colors at Charlotte for just one race, the Kodak team decided to make a permanent change. Gone is the familiar Yellow paint scheme that matched the film boxes, and in comes a rainbow graphic, which is new to all Kodak Gold films.

------------------------------------------- Michael Waltrip hires Ruttman ------------------------------------------- Joe Ruttman, a regular on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, was hired by Michael Waltrip to drive the #55 Sealy Furniture car in the Winston Open. Michael purchased the car from the Woods Brothers, whom he drives the #21 Citgo car for, and prepared it in his BGN shop at a Ford dealership in North Carolina. The possibility exists that the car might be entered in other events later this year.

------------------------------------------- Woods Brothers Team Fatality ------------------------------------------- After the completion of racing activities at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night , Leonard Wood, owner of the #21 Citgo team, left the speedway in a van with his family. Minutes later, the van was involved in a head-on crash killed on Interstate 85, which claimed the life of Leonard's wife, Betty Webb Wood. Wood's northbound van was struck by Felix Formelu's southbound Honda. The patrol officer at the scene said that the Formelu's vehicle was attempting to complete a pass, when he clipped the other car and lost control. His vehicle crossed the median and went into the northbound lane, and then a northbound car behind the Wood's van also struck it from the rear. The Formelu's were also killed in the accident, and several people were injured from the other vehicles. Leonard Wood's injuries are not life threatening.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wood family.

------------------------------------------- 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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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Jeremy Mayfield , Michael Waltrip , Joe Ruttman