Ken's NASCAR Silly Season Notebook 96-10-04

Ken's NASCAR Silly Season Notebook - October 04, 1996 ------------------------------------------- NASCAR Silly Season Central ------------------------------------------- Here are the latest updates regarding moves amongst the Winston Cup ...

Ken's NASCAR Silly Season Notebook - October 04, 1996

------------------------------------------- NASCAR Silly Season Central ------------------------------------------- Here are the latest updates regarding moves amongst the Winston Cup teams and drivers next year. I try to only include rumors that can be confirmed by atleast one other source, that way I try to limit these things a little. Often times, one rumor will contradict another rumor. In that case, I try to stick with the one that makes more sense or is more prevalent in the media. There is no science here.... A special thanks to all those that keep forwarding me updates to the list.

#0 - This is the number that Delma Cowart uses when trying to qualify for Winston Cup races in a Ford. The sponsor at Charlotte was Master's Inn Economy, but I have no other info on this team. Delma was involved in a crash in the ARCA race on Wednesday night, but was not seriously hurt.

#1 Hooters Pontiac - Precision Products & Richard Jackson lose Rick Mast to the #75 car (official). Rumors are starting to engulf this team almost as much as Kyle Petty's. It looks like the two Jackson bros. will get back together on the #1 team and the #33 will be assumed by Andy Petree. Looks like Hooters is gone, with Hughes as potential sponsor.

#2 Miller Ford - Penske or Rusty Wallace will stay together. The rumor that the team may lose crew chief Robin Pemberton has been dismissed when Rusty reported on ShopTalk that he has signed a 3-year deal with Pemberton.

#02 - This is the number that Robby Faggert uses when trying to qualify for Winston Cup races in a Chevrolet. I have no other info on this team.

#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 possibly add 2nd team (#44)

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

#6 Valvoline Ford - no official changes for Mark Martin and Roush Racing, but there are a few rumors floating around about changes on the team. One is relative to the crew chief, but I don't see any changes...

#7 QVC Ford - no changes for Geoff Bodine's team.

#8 Circuit City Ford - Stavola Bros. and Hut Stricklin to stay together, but the team may lose Circuit City as sponsor. However, recent good finishes may rekindle the flame.....

#9 Spam Ford - Spam gets canned as sponsor for Melling's team, and goes to new #91 team being formed. Lake Speed's ride will carry the colors and logo of the University of Nebraska athletic teams under the auspices of the Trev Alberts Foundation. Alberts, now an NFL linebacker for the Indianopolis Colts, a former All-American linebacker for the Cornhuskers. The sponsorshipof the team is "self-funded', with backing from several Nebraska corporations and along with a portion of the funding raised through the sales of collectables and souvenirs.

#10 Tide Ford - Ricky Rudd's team will lose Richard Broome, current crew chief, in 1997. Next year's crew chief has been named as Jim Long, current crew chief for the #9 Spamobile.

#11 Lowe's Ford - Brett Bodine loses Lowe's, still no replacement sponsor announced. However rumor has Blockbuster Video on the car.

#12 Badcock Ford - Bobby Allison may be able to keep Badcock as sponsor but he will likely lose Derrike Cope as driver for next year. Rumors have Cope first in line for the (#26) Skittles car that Dallenbach turned down. Rumors have Todd Bodine and Gary Bradberry as potential replacements for '97. More rumors have Bobby Allison folding up shop and retiring from racing all-together next year....

#14 Racing for Kids/Toy Biz Chevy - Dale Earnhardt Inc's WC team had Jeff Green as driver, but Robby Gordon will drive this car in select races this year, beginning with the October 6th UAW-GM Quality 500 race at Charlotte. 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.

#15 Hayes Modems Ford - Bud Moore may still lose current driver Wally Dallenbach, but unclear where he might be going at this point. Moore is also losing Hayes as primary sponsor, but they may stay on in some form as an associate sponsor. RealTree Camouflage (currently on #31) was supposed to be a candidate for next year's sponsor. Hayes is trying a new paint scheme at Charlotte, with the "Race Onto the Web" theme for their new 33.6 modem.

#16 Family Channel/PrimeStar Ford - Roush, both sponsors, and Musgrave will back for next year (officially announced). Roush has moved Howard Comstock out as crew chief and into the team manager slot. James Ince will replace Howard as crew chief on the #16. Ince has served as the chief mechanic of the #6 and #99 Roush Racing teams up until this time.

#17 Parts America Chevy - Darrell Waltrip recently added Waddell Wilson to his team as general manager in an effort to resurrect this team. Also, rumors continue to persist that '97 will be DW's last year as driver. These rumors began when DW hired Rich Bickle to drive some WC, BGN and Truck races next year. Many people feel that DW is grooming Bickle to take over the ride in 1998.

#18 Interstate Batteries Chevy - Joe Gibbs and Bobby Labonte will reportedly switch to a Pontiac next year. Interstate Batteries will stay as primary sponsor. Rumors about this team getting McDonalds as sponsor have been put to rest by the folks at the Golden Arches.

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

#20 Ranier/Walsh and Indy 500 ROTY Tony Stewart will be joining together to form a brand new Winston Cup team in 1997. The Ranier/Walsh BGN team has hired a marketing firm to help attract a sponsor, which is its key to making the jump up to Winston Cup. Harry Ranier owned the team that Davey Allison drove for, before Robert Yates took over.

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

#22 MNBA Pontiac - Ward announced his intentions to stay with Bill Davis' team. Another rumor has Mark Rypien merging with Davis' operation somehow...

#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. Except rumors abound that Jeff Gordon is still considering IndyCars.

#25 Budweiser Chevy - Kenny Schrader will definitely leave and go to the #33 car. Rick Hendrick has finalized a "multi-year"deal with Ricky Craven, to drive the #25 car starting next year. Budweiser is named as the sponsor. The actual owner of the team is listed as "Papa" Joe Hendrick, Rick's dad.

#26 Skittles Pontiac - M&M Mars company to have Skittles sponsor a new team put together with the help of Rick Hendrick and Jimmy Johnson and owned by Nelson Bowers, a Myrtle Beach, S.C. businessman who owns several car dealerships. Since Wally Dallenbach turned down the offer, more reports seem to link Derrike Cope with this team. Still nothing official yet.

#27 Sponsor? Ford - this is the ex-Jr. Johnson team that is now owned by David Blair. Todd Bodine has been driving ever since Darlington, and will likely retain this seat for the full 1997 schedule. Todd Bodine is reportedly working with a potential sponsor, with some speculation that it might be a major long distance company or a credit card company.

#28 Havoline Ford - no announced changes for Ernie Irvan and Robert Yates. Much of the ontroversy surrounding this team has subsided with their recent string of good finishes and a couple of wins under their belt. One rumor had Ernie driving for (currently retired) Jr. Johnson next year.

#29 Cartoon Network Chevy - Diamond Ridge Motorsports currently has Jeff Green behind the wheel, as "driver of the week." Bill Ingle has chosen Robert Pressley for next year, and Pressley has signed a multi-year contract with the team.

#30 Pennzoil Pontiac - no changes for Bahari Racing and Johnny Benson Jr., except that Benson will be known as the '96 WC ROTY.

#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 for full schedule. RealTree Camouflage was reportedly talking with Bud Moore & the #15 team for sponsorship next year.

#33 Skoal Pontiac - This team loses Robert Pressley to the #29 car next year. Kenny Schrader will leave the #25 Budweiser team and take over this ride for '97. Andy Petree has officially assumed full ownership of the #33 team as of Wednesday Oct 2nd, and changed the name of the team to Andy Petree Racing. Skoal Bandit to stay on as sponsor for the new team. Leo Jackson may go back to work on the #1 car with his brother Richard.

#37 Kmart/Little Ceaser's Ford - Tim Brewer has quit as crew chief for Kranefuss & Haas. John Andretti swapped rides with the Jeremy Mayfield of the #98 RCA Ford. Kranefuss may buy out Carl Haas' interest in the team.

#40 First Union Pontiac - Sabco Racing had Jay Sauter in the car earlier in the year, but will have Greg Sacks in this car for Charlotte, with no official word on what the team will do for remainder of the year. Rumors are now starting to fly around the garage area that Wally Dallenbach may be looking to drive this car next year, even on a limited schedule. SABCO wants to be a "multi-car team" next year, in a big way. And, get this, the Tampa Tribune has Robby Gordon driving this car next year, with Joe Nemechek driving the #42.

#41 Kodiak Chevy - Ricky Craven and Larry Hedrick formed a new team co-ownership contract thru 1998 earlier this year, but Ricky Craven is leaving to drive the #25 Bud car (official). Larry Hedrick has announced that Steve Grissom will take over the driver's seat for 1997, with Kodiak staying on as sponsor.

#42 Coors Light Pontiac - Kyle Petty and Felix Sabates will part ways next year and its official that Robby Gordon will take over as driver in '97. Kyle is still trying to form his own team (see below), and will reportedly take three crew members with him: Bobby Kennedy (crew chief), David Evans (chief engine builder) and Glenn Funderburk. Sabates is looking into switching from Pontiac to Chevy for next year, and Robby Gordon made the mistake by alluding to the #42 Monte Carlo on RaceDay on TNN. And, get this, the Tampa Tribune has Robby Gordon driving the #40 car next year, with Joe Nemechek driving the #42.

#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.

#44? Morgan-McClure to form 2nd team...with AT&T as the likely sponsor and possibly Jeff Purvis as driver.... As I heard, a 3rd party is involved with the sponsorship of this team, so the whole deal is questionable at this point.

#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, no official word that they will renew for 1997.

#75 Remington Arms Ford - Morgan Shepard will vacate this seat. Rick Mast has signed a 3-year deal to take over as driver in 1997 with Remington returning as sponsor. Morgan is reportedly trying to form his own team or work a deal for the #90 seat.

#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 Activewear Ford - The Wilson Racing team had planned to have Randy McDonald run for Rookie of the Year in 1996, but now has Billy Standridge trying in this car at Charlotte.

#81 Square D/TIC Financial Ford -  FilMar Racing, Kenny Wallace  and 
 Square D will return for 1997.  TIC will not.

#87 Burger King Chevy - Felix Sabates of SABCO Racing has become part owner of the NEMCO team with Joe Nemechek. The team will lose Burger King as sponsor next year, and Bell South Mobility has been named as a possible replacement. It is likely that Nemechek would stay on as driver for '97, but the operation may move over to SABCO's shops.

#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. Rumor is that Morgan Shepard is talking to Junie about next year.

#91 - Pro-Tech Motorsports, co-owned by Ron Neal and Tom Hanley will have Spam to sponsor their new team in 1997, with Mike Wallace as driver. The team will field Chevy Monte Carlos. Ron Neal currently fields a BGN car with Todd Bodine as driver. Hormel Foods, parent company of Spam, will also advertise three other food products - Dinty Moore, Kids Kitchen and Hormel Chili - on the car next year.

#94 McDonald's Ford - Bill Elliott had assumed full ownership of this team earlier this year. McDonald's will stay on as sponsor for '97 as per their three year contract. The latest rumor has Tim Brewer, former crew chief on the #37 car, talking with Bill Elliott about next year. It is unclear what role he will have, but Brewer and Elliott have together in the past and were quite dominate at the time. This could be a major boost for the team in 1997.

#95 Shoney's Inn Ford - Sadler Motorsports has released Chuck Bown and hired Gary Bradberry to drive this car in selected races this year. The team will reportedly retain full use of the #95 in 1997, and will not give the number to David Green's WC team effort next year. Gary Bradberry is reported to be on the top of the list as a replacement driver for Derrike Cope in the #12 car.

#97 Sterling Cowboy Pontiac - Rypien Motorsports is running a limited schedule this year with Chad Little as driver and Sterling Cowboy. The team plans to run a full Winston Cup schedule next year with John Deere as sponsor. A rumor has Mark trying to merge with Bill Davis Racing.

#98 RCA Ford - Cale Yarborough now has John Andretti (from #37) as driver replacing Jeremy Mayfield. They will retain RCA sponsorship. Jeremy is now driving the #37 Kmart/Little Ceaser's car.

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

#? - Kyle Petty to form new team. There is no shortage of rumors about this team. Recent rumors have Petty with three different companies as his primary sponsor -- Harley-Davidson, Mattel and the National Wrestling Association. Petty will also take three crew members with him from SABCO, leaving Felix Sabates very angry over the whole ordeal. Looks like the breakup of these two characters will be anything but pretty... NOTE: Kyle's deal with the NWO #49 car is for the Busch Grand National series only, and not for the Winston Cup series. The car is designed to go head-to-head with the WCW car in BGN. Not known how many races the car will be entered in this year.

#? - General Mills was planning on sponsoring a team next year, with Wheaties the likely candidate to go head to head with Corn Flakes. Apparently, they have changed their mind and are looking into CART.

#? - Morgan Shepard had thoughts about starting his own team when he decided to part ways with the Butch Mock's Remington Arms team, but he has now decided that he does not have enough time to find a sponsor. Look for him to fill the empty seat on the #90 car or possibly the #15 if Wally makes a move.

#? - Buz McCall's team with David Green is moving up from BGN to WC next year, with Caterpillar as primary sponsor & Sunoco as an associate sponsor. Unsure of what number the team will use, since their attempt to get the #95 from Sadler racing has failed.

#? - Tim Steele, current ARCA Bondo MarHyde Series sensation, will reportedly attempt to run Daytona in a Winston Cup car next year. His family's business, HS Die, will sponsor the car for a couple races, but does not have enough money to fund the whole year. This team is aggressively seeking a full time sponsor.

------------------------------------------- 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 , John Andretti , Rich Bickle , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Wally Dallenbach , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Dick Trickle , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Jay Sauter , Robby Gordon , Mike Wallace , Hut Stricklin , Robert Pressley , Stacy Compton , Johnny Benson , Ricky Craven , Chad Little , Jeff Purvis , David Green , Dave Marcis , Rick Mast , Tim Brewer , Tim Steele , Richard Petty , Randy McDonald , Andy Petree , Steve Grissom , Gary Bradberry , Carl Haas , Bobby Allison , Robert Yates , Greg Sacks , Buz McCall , Felix Sabates , Bobby Hillin Jr. , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin , Davey Allison
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Bill Davis Racing