Motegi Post Race Notes

Coca-Cola 500 Weekend Notes and Quotes By Brett Borden MOTEGI, Japan (Nov. 21, 1998) Notes and quotes from a weekend in a foreign land... Bill Elliott said he still has nothing to announce regarding sponsorship of his second team,...

Coca-Cola 500 Weekend Notes and Quotes By Brett Borden

MOTEGI, Japan (Nov. 21, 1998) Notes and quotes from a weekend in a foreign land...

Bill Elliott said he still has nothing to announce regarding sponsorship of his second team, the No. 13 Ford Taurus. First Plus sponsored the car last year, which was driven by Jerry Nadeau, Dennis Setzer, and Ted Musgrave.

In a press conference, NASCAR's Mike Helton announced that NASCAR will be returning to Japan next season with the Winston West series. The date of the race, and the decision on whether or not it would be a points race, had yet to be determined as of Sunday.

In the same press conference, Helton was asked if he saw Honda participating in NASCAR competition any time soon. Honda does not currently have a motor that meets specifications for NASCAR racing, said Helton.

Mike Skinner had quite a weekend. His No. 31 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet was the first car out for practice at Twin Ring Motegi on Friday, and one lap later it was the first to make contact with one of the walls of the facility. Later in the weekend he asked for the services of "an interpreter," but his smile in Victory Lane Sunday was recognizable in any language.

In the driver's orientation meeting, Michael Waltrip offered this bit of wisdom to his fellow drivers on dealing with the locals: "It doesn't matter how loud you yell at them, they won't understand any better." To which NASCAR's Gary Nelson quickly responded: "Michael, sometimes it works that way when the other guy speaks English, too."

Speaking of driver orientation, the four Japanese drivers had their own meetings following each of the American drivers'. Even though the four said little and listened attentively, their meetings lasted about twice as long, as everything had to be filtered through an interpreter.

Brendan Gaughan, who had a scary-looking accident near the end of the Coca-Cola 500 (he is fine), also wrecked in the first practice session on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi, a track that resembles an elongated egg. He used an age-old excuse more suited for baseball for his practice accident. "I got in the middle of turn three, the sun came out from behind the clouds, I raised my hand to block it, and I wrecked," said Gaughan, who drove the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet. "It ain't like Vegas."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Michael Waltrip , Mike Skinner , Jerry Nadeau , Ted Musgrave , Brendan Gaughan , Mike Helton