Misc. notes 95-10-04

--------------------------------------------- Silly Season - aka: You'll need a program for Daytona!!! --------------------------------------------- NOTE: The silly season summitt is upon us. The fall Charlotte race is typically the time all...

--------------------------------------------- Silly Season - aka: You'll need a program for Daytona!!! --------------------------------------------- NOTE: The silly season summitt is upon us. The fall Charlotte race is typically the time all the rumors get flushed out and people start making announcments as to their plans for next year. Expect that many of the rumors will be either sqaushed or substantiated this weekend.

Barry Dodson, 42, who had announced his resignation from SABCO Racing effective at the end of the 1995 Winston Cup season, has opted to resign effective immediately. Also resigning from SABCO last week were shock specialist Jim Long and jackman Mike Ford, both of whom left to pursue other interests. Keith Simmons, SABCO chief engine builder, will serve as crew chief through the end of the season. Simmons served as crew chief for Bill Davis Racing for then-driver Jeff Gordon (BGN) in 1991 and 1992. Simmons also served as crew chief for Mark Martin (BGN) in 1989 and 1990. Felix Sabates was surprised by Dodson's decision, and only became aware of it when he found his empty office on Wednesday of last week.

Felix Sabates says he's fed up with "prima donnas" and plans to hire someone with no experience to replace Dodson. Both Larry Mc Reynolds (#28) and Steve Hmeil (#6) had supposedly been offered the job and both turned it down. In addition to that, there is some talk of Sabates switching from Pontiac to Ford next year as well. (Could have been tied to the offers to McReynolds and Hmeil though, since they both have lots of Ford experience.)

Michael Waltrip will leave the Bahari Racing Pennzoil #30 team and will join the Wood Brothers to drive their #21 Citgo Ford for at least the next two years, replacing current 53-year-old driver Morgan Shepherd.

Johnny Benson Jr., current BGN driver, is likely to fill M. Waltrip's vacated Pennzoil seat, although owner Chuck Rider has said that its too early confirm it.

Morgan Shepherd, who was shocked with the news of his non-renewal with the Woods Brothers, is talking with at least two teams about 1996. Shepard is reportedly talking with the #15 car-owner Bud Moore (who is said to be looking to replace Dick Trickle) and possibly Butch Mock's Factory Stores #75 team.

Todd Bodine, who currently drives the #75 Factory Stores Ford, is reportedly a candidate to fill the soon-to-be vacated seat of Dick Trickle in the #15 Bud Moore ride. Butch Mock, T. Bodine's team owner, has said that if Todd wants to leave, he won't try to stop him, but added that he understands that Todd wants to stay with the team next year.

Bobby Labonte and crew chief Jimmy Makar have signed a five-year contract with NASCAR Winston Cup car owner and former NFL coach Joe Gibbs that will keep the team intact through 2000. Labonte joined Gibbs' outfit at the beginning of the '95 season and scored his first career victory on the Winston Cup circuit in only his 11th start with the Interstate Batteries team in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May.

The Stavola Bros. will lose their current sponsor (Raybestos) and current driver (Jeff Burton) and have reportedly signed a three-year deal with Hut Stricklin, who currently drives Kenny Bernstein's #26 Quaker State car.

Dale Jarrett will likely drive the #88 car for Robert Yates Racing in 1996, with the potential sponsor s of Quality Care and Raybestos, while teammate Ernie Irvan will return to the #28 Texaco Havoline Ford.

Bill Ingle, Ricky Rudd's current crew chief is leaving to become Winston Cup owner/driver next year. Expect him to make an announcement of his plans this weekend, and preliminary reports say he will join a Chevrolet team which will let him run it's BGN and Supertruck efforts and perform crew chief duties with their Winston Cup effort.

Junior Johnson is planning to sell the #27 Hooters team to Hooters executive Bob Brooks and then Elton Sawyer and crew chief Mike Hill plan to buy the #27 Hooters team from Brooks, to continue their Winston Cup operation for 1996.

Junior Johnson will also completely disassociate himself from the #23 Smokin' Joes team. A rumor says that this team with Jimmy Spencer may merge with the #15 Bud Moore operation in Spartansburg S.C., or move to a new location in Statesville, N.C. with continued backing from R.J Reynolds.

Jeff Burton is joining the Roush team in a 3rd car next season, the#26 car will be sponsored by Exide Batteries, and Buddy Parrott will be the team's General Manager.

Geoff Bodine is still looking for a sponsor to replace Exide.

Junior will continue to remain active with his #11 Lowe's team.

Andy Petree is leaving the #3 Childress/Earnhardt team for the #33 Skoal Bandit team next year.

Derrike Cope has signed on for another two years with Bobby Allison's team.

--------------- The Quest for the Cup --------------- Jeff Gordon needs to finish 17th or better in the final races to win the cup. If he finishes higher than 17th in the next two races, expect him to secure the cup before they go to Atlanta.

---------------------------------------------- First it was the NFL, now Colleges are getting into NASCAR racing ---------------------------------------------- N.C. State has signed a three-year agreement with Raymond and Diane DeWitt, owners of RaDiUs Motorsports and D-R Racing Enterprises of Denver, N.C., allowing the car to become one of the school's officially licensed products. The school's logo will be on the hood of a red-and-white Ford Thunderbird driven by North Carolina-native Johnny Chapman, 28. Florida State has sealed a similar agreement with the same team. The DeWitts, who have had trouble landing big-time sponsors, hope to survive on their share of revenues from the sale of Wolfpack racing paraphernalia -- T-shirts, hats and other gear, said Bill Gaut, the DeWitt team's business manager. The school will receive a royalty from the profits, and pays no money directly to the team, Gaut said.

---------------------- Rusty Wallace Goes Drag Racing ---------------------- Rusty Wallace will pull together a Ford Pro Stock team for the 1996 NHRA season, and potentials drivers he's seeking include Rickie Smith, Kurt Johnson, and Rusty Glidden.

Happy Motoring :-) =Ken=

Internet:        kc.wbst129@xerox.com
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PS: OJ did it!

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Dick Trickle , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Kenny Bernstein , Kurt Johnson , Jimmy Spencer , Elton Sawyer , Johnny Benson , Andy Petree , Morgan Shepherd , Junior Johnson , Bobby Allison , Robert Yates , Rickie Smith , Johnny Chapman , Felix Sabates , Mark Martin
Teams Bill Davis Racing , Yates Racing