NASCAR News #2 97-09-03

NASCARFans E-Mail List Steve Park, driver of Teresa Earnhardt's No. 3 ACDelco Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, needed only to finish in 10th-place or better in the Dura-Lube 200 Presented By Trak Auto at Darlington...

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Steve Park, driver of Teresa Earnhardt's No. 3 ACDelco Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, needed only to finish in 10th-place or better in the Dura-Lube 200 Presented By Trak Auto at Darlington Raceway to earn enough points to clinch the 1997 Raybestos Rookie of the Year title on the NASCAR Busch Series.

Typically, the over-achieving Park finished fifth in Saturday's event and earned not only the championship, but the Raybestos Rookie of the Race Award again as well.

Park, a former NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour driver from East Northport, N.Y., has now won the Raybestos Rookie of the Race Award an amazing 17 times in 24 races in 1997. (NASCAR Online) ========== The latest effort to portray NASCAR racing in a dramatic setting airs on September 23 at 8 p.m. when the Fox network presents "Steel Chariots" as its Tuesday night movie.

The show, according to NASCAR, "combines the exciting world of NASCAR racing and the personal dramas of a family in danger of being torn apart by a rivalry between two brothers who feel the need for speed."

NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin play themselves in cameo roles, as do announcers Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons.

Country music star Randy Travis plays a driver-turned-preacher by the name of Revvin' Wally Jones.

The two-hour, made-for-television movie was filmed with the support and cooperation of NASCAR at five tracks - Talladega, Charlotte, Texas, Concord and Hickory. (News & Record) ========== Geoff Bodine said there is no truth to the rumors that his team is shutting down or that his new majority owners, Jim Mattei and John Porter, are trying to depose him as driver. "People have left here. Probably some more will leave here," he said. "But this place is not shutting down. This place is not trying to get rid of Geoff Bodine." (Greensboro News & Record) ========== Two days after his final-lap duel with Jeff Gordon in the Southern 500, Jeff Burton was busy Tuesday testing at Martinsville Speedway along with teammate Ted Musgrave. Reflecting on his fender-rubbing duel with Gordon and his failed pass as the last lap started Sunday at Darlington Raceway, Burton told the speedway's Steve Sheppard: "I didn't think (Gordon) would block me the way he blocked me. "It's borderline unethical but when there is a million dollars on the line, you probably don't have a lot of ethics." (Greensboro News & Record) ========== One day last year, when Bobby Hamilton and Kyle Petty were having a chat, Petty said: "I don't know what it is, man. But it seems like after three years, things go sour." And, Hamilton said here Friday, that is what has happened this season in his third year of driving the No. 43 STP Pontiac for Kyle's father, Richard Petty. "I think things started to go sour," Hamilton said as he and car owner Larry McClure announced Hamilton's move to the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet Monte Carlo team during a press conference at Darlington Raceway. "We just couldn't ever get on track. We couldn't get real good runs. I think I found something better driving the Morgan-McClure Chevrolet." Hamilton said he thinks the effort on Petty's No. 43 Pontiac Grand Prix team was diluted by the team's efforts to help Kyle's new team. "It sort of takes away from both ends of it," Hamilton said. "Winning spoils you," McClure said. "We want to get back to where we once were or maybe even better." McClure said he and Sterling Marlin are parting on good terms. He said Hamilton will take over beginning with the race in Japan this November. (Greensboro News & Record)

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

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Rusty Wallace , Steve Park , Kyle Petty , Sterling Marlin , Ted Musgrave , Ned Jarrett , Richard Petty , Mark Martin