Mike's NASCAR notes 97-07-10

NASCARFans E-Mail List Here's the latest from the sanctioning body formerly known as IMSA (now Professional Sports Racing, I think (Mike)): a stock car racing series. But, said PSR race operations vp Doug Robinson, "We'd be silly to make any ...

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Here's the latest from the sanctioning body formerly known as IMSA (now Professional Sports Racing, I think (Mike)): a stock car racing series. But, said PSR race operations vp Doug Robinson, "We'd be silly to make any overt attempt to take any shot at NASCAR." The proposed name of the new series will be "U.S. Road Racing StockCar Championship", but if NASCAR objects, PSR is willing to find another. PSR hopes the new series will appeal to teams that have raced in GTS-1, Trans-Am, ARCA, or ASA. PSR promises a 10-12 race schedule for 1998, with $2 million in appearance money and at least $50,000 purse per race. A schedule should be ready in August. (Autoweek, 7/14/97).

Jeremy Mayfield and crew chief Paul Andrews seem to have the mechanics down pat. Mayfield has completed almost every lap of the last 10 Winston Cup races. Now, to get into the winner's circle, they need a bit more work on finishing each other's sentences. "Paul and I have been communicating pretty well, and that communication is going to be really important to a good run at New Hampshire,'' Mayfield said. ``I can tell him what I'm feeling and he can either play on that or fix it, making us get around the track that much quicker.'' Mayfield says the teams that are winning regularly are the ones who have that great communication. "Look at Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham or Terry Labonte and Gary DeHart or Mark Martin and Steve Hmiel,'' he said. ``These guys know each other, know what each other means when they talk, know everything about each other practically.'' The 28-year-old Mayfield says that kind of driver-crew chief relationship builds winners. It's the kind of relationship he and Andrews are working on. ``When the time comes that I begin a sentence and Paul ends it, I know we'll be close,'' he said. ``When the time comes either one of us begins a sentence on something like Anaconda mating habits and the other one completes it, then I'll know we're there.'' Mayfield, who has completed 2,900 of 2,905 laps in the last 10 races - tied for second behind Mark Martin's 2,904 - thinks New Hampshire might be the breakthrough. (WRAL)

I hear that the Chevy SB2 engine will be approved for 1998 and 12:1 compression and unleaded race gas will be required for all engines (Jayski).

Junior Johnson & Associates Inc. has sued Brett Bodine, Bodine's wife and two companies owned by the Bodines, claiming they owe more than $51,000. The two-page lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in Wilkes Superior Court, did not say what the money was for. Johnson's attorneys, George P. Cunningham and Max F. Ferree, both of Wilkesboro, would not comment yesterday on the suit. Lisa Cadell, the Bodines' attorney, could not be reached for comment. According to the suit, BDR Motorsports L.L.C. and BDR Land Co. L.L.C. promised on Jan. 8 to pay an unspecified amount of money to Johnson. BDR Motorsports is Bodine's race team, which he purchased from Johnson two years ago. Bodine and his wife, Diane, ''unconditionally guaranteed'' they would pay the money but have not, the suit said. As of Feb. 15, they owed $51,613, the suit said. The suit asks a judge to order the Bodines to pay the $51,613 plus interest. It also seeks attorneys' fees and court costs equal to 15 percent of the outstanding balance. No court date has been set. (Jayski/JournalNow)

Jayski hears KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) will be the sponsor of the #26 DW owned Chevrolet Monte Carlo Rich Bickle will drive in the Brickyard 400. I've heard rumors about KFC replacing Western Auto as DW's primary sponsor for 1998.

Todd Bodine's deal is NOT with Team 34 (his current BGN team) but a team that has had a lot of success... in Indy car racing. The deal was initially to include Geoff as well and be a two car team...now it appears that it will be Todd only (Jayski).

Ricky Craven comes home this week, and he may get the loudest cheers from the New England crowd, particularly if he can repeat in qualifying by winning the pole. But he's still trying to get things going this season, after a first half that he says leaves him with ''mixed emotions.'' Things haven't gone as well as he'd hoped when he signed on with Rick Hendrick. ''There was really a lot of anticipation for me, and things started out great,'' Craven said. ''I can make so many excuses for the things that didn't go well, like the wreck at Texas and the rear-end gear breaking at Charlotte, which stopped one of our best runs, and somebody's rotor going through our radiator at Daytona. There have been plenty of hurdles, and some obstacles. ''But we've shown some progress. Maybe we're not contenders to win each week, but we've led races, four of the last six.'' (Mike Mulhern, reporting for JournalNow).

Things We're Glad Never Happened (Autoweek, 7/14/97)

Felix Sabates, before the California Speedway race: "If it goes green for a long time, I think you're going to see another stinking show with the Fords. If you have a caution with 10 laps to go, then a Chevy could win. If we're running in the top five or six with 10 laps to go, I'm going to take my clothes off and run naked across the track. I don't know if that will bring out a caution. But it will bring out something."

Winston Cup Scene reports in its 7/10 edition that plans to stage a combination Busch Series/Craftsman Truck Series weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway next year have stalled for the present, at least.

Winston Cup Scene also reports in the 7/10 edition that Bahari Racing jackman Gary Lefler escaped serious injury after being hit on pit road by Kenny Wallace's Ford during the second caution at Daytona for the Pepsi 400. Lefler received a laceration to his right ankle, and was treated and released from the infield care center.

Mark Martin says he doesn't look at the Winston Cup championship nearly as selfishly as he does winning a race. "I probably want to win, the very worst, for what it does for me in my career. Winning this championship, I probably desire the most for Jack Roush. I want to be the one that delivers him his first Winston Cup championship. And he wants it really bad." (WCS 7/10)

The Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., with headquarters in Lexington, Ky., will sponsor the 225 lap Craftsman Truck Series race at Louisville (Ky) Motor Speedway on July 12. The event's name is now the Link-Belt Construction Equipment 225 (WCS 7/10).

John Reed, owner of Atlanta-based Reed Cams Inc., was killed July 2 when his vintage plane crashed near his home in Locust Grove, Ga. He was 56. Reed's firm did camshaft and carburetor work for numerous racing divisions, from short tracks to Winston Cup (WCS 7/10). Our belated sympathy and prayers go out to the Reed family.

According to a Tom Higgins column in WCS (7/10), there is no truth to the rumors that Chuck Rider wants to sell his Bahari Racing team. "Whoever started this talk obviously doesn't know what's going on with our team", said Rider. "We're looking ahead and aggressively and optimistically, not looking to get out."

Mike Irwin (mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle , Brett Bodine , Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Todd Bodine , Kenny Wallace , Ricky Craven , Ray Evernham , Junior Johnson , Jack Roush , Felix Sabates , Mark Martin