Monday news 97-07-07

NASCARFans E-Mail List NASCAR'S Bill France says he is in no hurry to turn over the reins of power. "I'm 64, and won't go on forever. And something will have to be done eventually. But not before the end of the year," France said, responding to...

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NASCAR'S Bill France says he is in no hurry to turn over the reins of power. "I'm 64, and won't go on forever. And something will have to be done eventually. But not before the end of the year," France said, responding to speculation about how much longer he plans to run the sport his father helped create nearly 50 years ago. But turning over the job to son Brian isn't automatic, France said. "This business is big enough that just having the name France doesn't ensure anything. And Brian concurs with that." (Jayski)

On the BGN CBS broadcast on 7-6-97, it was stated that Todd Bodine has signed a three year contract to compete in the WC series in 1998 and beyond and the team would field Pontiacs, and they would attempt Atlanta and maybe Charlotte in the fall of 1997, no other news was reported. (Jayski)

Terry Labonte rumored to a Robert Yates' car for 1998? "I've heard the rumor, and I wouldn't doubt that Robert has talked with Terry," team manager Jimmy Johnson said. "Anybody would like to have Terry Labonte driving for them. But I'm confident Terry is happy with us." (Jayski)

Jack Sprague's truck win at Nazareth, Pa., has sparked speculation about a move up to the Cup tour next season. But Johnson says that Sprague will probably remain in Hendrick's trucks. "If Rick (Hendrick)hadn't gotten sick, we would have done a fourth team this season," Johnson said. (Jayski)

More Quotes Concerning 1 Lap Shootout

"It's a tough decision to make, but with our policy of trying to finish under green that's something we have to try to do," said NASCAR spokesman Kevin Triplett. "We got it done today, but obviously we didn't like the results of what happened over in Turns 3 and 4, but you would rather give them the opportunity to race for it rather than wonder what if."

"I was tickled about going back racing (on the final lap). We came here to win the race. We didn't come here to finish second," said Larry McReynolds, crew chief for fourth-place finisher Dale Earnhardt. "I've always wanted to see races get restarted, but not at the expense of race cars like what got tore up. You hate to see that, but you just about expect that. That's one more shot you've got to win the thing, but I knew the way our restarts had been all day long that it wasn't going to be good."

"You kind of know that's gonna happen anytime you line up for a one-lap shootout at a superspeedway," said Ted Musgrave, who finished 12th thanks to the final lap scurry. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, that's what's gonna happen."

It shouldn't have been a surprise that this race saw a first-time winner in John Andretti. Big tracks, and especially Daytona, have provided new winners disproportionately often in recent years. Since 1990, there have been 12 first-time winners on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The last nine in a row have been on tracks of a mile or longer, and four of the twelve have come at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in northeastern Florida. The only other track to have seen more than one new winner in that span is the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. (NASCAR Online)

Mike Skinner's early exit and 41st-place showing at the Pepsi 400 continued a recent trend. Since Gordon won the Coca-Cola 600 from the No. 1 starting position, only two polesitters have cracked even the top-20--Jarrett, who placed sixth at Michigan, and Joe Nemechek, with an 18th at California. In addition to Skinner's rough day, Bobby Hamilton ended the day 39th at Pocono, and Bobby Labonte limped to a 40th-place at Dover. (NASCAR Online)

Dale Jarrett appears to be getting his season back in order. After making the top-10 only once in five races between Martinsville and Dover, Jarrett posted his fourth straight with a fifth at Daytona. He now enters a stretch of the season in which he was extremely strong last year. At the summer races at New Hampshire, Pocono, and Indianapolis in 1996, the driver of the No. 88 placed second, third, and first, respectively. (NASCAR Online)

Terry Labonte placed second for the third consecutive Daytona race. Labonte is not considered one of the circuit's top restrictor-plate racers, but the simple fact is that "Texas Terry" must be considered a factor everywhere he runs. This was a classic race for the No. 5; he didn't qualify particularly well, but worked his way up from his 35th-place start steadily and smoothly, and was in the top-5 almost without being noticed. (NASCAR Online)

Jeff Gordon's team continues to do the little things that it hopes will return the No. 24 to the championship. He isn't winning or running up high that much more than last year--but he's doing a much better job of turning lousy luck into respectable finishes. By the16th race of 1996, Gordon had already placed worse than 30th four times. That has happened only once this year. For the second time in a little over a month, Gordon recovered from significant difficulties (this time, contact with the wall) and salvaged a solid finish, coming in 21st and holding onto the points lead. (NASCAR Online)

(Sort-of)Strange Sighting of the Weekend (for me, anyway)

I live in the Cincinnati metro area, and coming home from church last night I spotted the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Winston Cup #17 hauler sitting at a Bob Evans about 5 miles from my house. It wasn't a show car hauler, but looked like the regular WC hauler. I waited for a few minutes hoping to catch the driver coming out, but no success. I'm going crazy trying to figure out what it was doing there on a Sunday night, since they had raced at Daytona the day before. I know some teams have two haulers, maybe that was the case here. Cincinnati seems sort of out of the way of Daytona, or New Hampshire to me. Anyone have any concrete ideas? Darrell?

Quote for the day: Always behave like a duck; keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like crazy underneath.

I'm looking forward to Von's return to the news-reporting for NASCARFans. I enjoy it, but I didn't realize how much work was involved, and I haven't even fooled with the website. Hopefully things will be back to normal this week, with Von doing the news, Henry with his Ramblings and Rumblings, and me doing Mike's NASCAR Notes. Thanks for all the feedback, rumors, and news that you send to us. Much enjoyed, and much appreciated!

Mike Irwin ( NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Joe Nemechek , Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Robert Yates , Bob Evans