NASCARFans news 97-07-24 #2

NASCARFans E-Mail List Tell your racing friends and co-horts about NASCARFans E-Mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ken from Milwaukee reports that the sale of the ...

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Tell your racing friends and co-horts about NASCARFans E-Mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken from Milwaukee reports that the sale of the #44 Bobby Labonte Busch team to Joe Gibbs is in progress. Tony Stewart will be driving the BGN car and Bobby Labonte will field a car (as team owner??) in the BGN series in 1998 in the new #18 car. Sponsor unknown. Will run 15 or so BGN races (Jayski)

Jayski mentions that there is a rumor that Tony George (Indy, IRL) is one of the Geoff Bodine buyers. Thought I'd pass it along.

Jayski reports that if Greg Sacks can qualify the #91 and run well, the job is his if he wants it for the remainder of the year. The team is not happy with the Childress engines it has been getting and is testing a SABCO engine.

Reports out of the Corning (NY) Leader said today that several WC and BGN North teams tested at Watkins Glen yesterday. Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, Johnny Benson, Jr., Jeff Green and Steve Park were among the notables. Martin and Elliott were testing new cars. Martin was pleased enough with the new chassis to declare his old car (3 Glen wins) retired. Elliott said he and Mike Beam decided to test because Bill had to skip last year's event as he was still recovering from the Talledega wreck. They also had a poor showing at Sears Point this year. Park didn't get on the track in his Dale Earnhardt Chevy until late in the day because the car reportedly wasn't quite finished. Testing resumes today(thanks TJ Spencer and Jayski)

Jayski also hears a strong rumor that Harry Gant will be driving a Ford on the truck series with a Robert Yates engine. (Gant will drive in 4 truck races this year, we just don't know details as yet).

Mark Martin steals a peek at his watch. The agreed-upon 15 minutes for a one-on-one interview has nearly expired. He seems relieved to hear the words: "Just one more question." What, this great NASCAR driver is asked, would he like his legacy to be. "That I was a hard driver and won a lot of races," he says. Down the stairs he bolts. Yards away, the No. 6 Valvoline Ford is awaiting its master. "I'm pretty happy to be a contender," he had said when asked how it felt, after two near misses, to again be within reach of the Holy Grail of his sport -- the Winston Cup championship. "That beats the heck out of racing dirt tracks in Arkansas." Martin looks like the product of a dirt-track movie, drawn yet hard -- the guy named Slim with the rolled-up sleeves. "You are a product of your environment," he says. "That was my environment for 15 years." And those days of grass-roots stock-car racing around Batesville, Ark., taught the 38-year-old father of five a lesson that has propeled him to 20 career victories against the best competition in the world: finish what you start. "If you're trying to make a living and you own your own car, you're a whole lot better running fifth than you are wrecking it or bending a hundred-dollar part," he said. "I came up owning my own stuff, and you have to take what you can get and do better next time." (Nando Net)

Two-year-old Roy Jones was at full sprint, in hot pursuit of a fleeing cousin at his family's home in Tucker, Ga., when his head made full and sudden contact with a table. "I ran smack-dab into the corner and took a pretty good lick," he said. The youngster, stunned and whimpering, was lifted onto his grandfather's lap. But almost immediately, he demanded to be put down, whereupon the tears dried and he tore off again. "That kid," the beaming Grandpa said, "is as tough as buckshot." "It's all I can be remember being called," said Buckshot Jones, who turned 27 Wednesday. "Nobody calls me Roy anymore. ... Well, sometimes my mom does. Then I know I'm in trouble." Conjure the consummate name for a professional stock-car driver, and you simply couldn't do much better than Buckshot Jones. The reality, though, is somewhat less stereotypical than the image. Jones, though he stands just 5 feet 6 and weighs 135 pounds, was a starting cornerback on his school football team, and he has a business degree from the University of Georgia. He applies his knowledge by running the business end of his Buckshot Racing team. After gaining experience on dirt short tracks, Jones moved up to the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series in 1993. He raced in several divisions in '94, and ran a partial NASCAR Busch Grand National series schedule (eight races) in '95. Jones is in his second full season on the Busch circuit and will be among the competitors seeking a qualifying spot for Saturday's Gateway 300 at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. He comes into the event -- No. 20 on the BGN's 30-race schedule -- fifth in the series points standings and with $234,970 in winnings this year. (Nando Net)

Cory McClenathan won the Top Fuel title in the Mile-High Nationals on Sunday, July 20, edging Tony Schumacher with a quarter-mile run of 4.864 seconds with a top speed of 294.59 mph. MClenathan, driving a new Joe Gibbs-owned dragster, was the No. 1 qualifier and overpowered points leader Gary Scelzi in the second round en route to his first victory of the season. "Joe Gibbs is a classy owner," McClenathan said. "He deserves the win. He's given us everything we need to be a contending team, but I'm not sure he wants to give us a new car every race." (Nando Net)

Wanna fax ESPN or Benny Parsons? 1-800-FAX-ESPN (Jayski)

The Busch series is racing at Gateway Speedway, in Madison, Illinois (near St. Louis) on Saturday, the 26th. The race will be televised live on CBS at 1 pm, EDT. Track Information: Distance: 1.25 Miles Front straight: 1922 feet Back straight: 1976 feet. Location: at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Interstate 55 in Madison, Ill., east of St. Louis. (NASCAR Online)

The Craftsman Truck series is racing at Heartland Park, in Topeka, Kansas on Sunday, the 27th. The race will be televised live on TNN at 2 pm. EDT. Track Information Distance: 2.1 mile Front straight: 2,484 feet Back straight: 1,442 feet. Location: 4.2 miles south of I-335 (Kansas Turnpike) on U.S. Highway 75. (NASCAR Online)

There, that should keep us NASCAR fans supplied with some racing to watch, eh? I don't know about you, but I go through withdrawal when there's a week off in the Winston Cup, and I just about perish during the winter.

You might see some posts from Von this weekend (he was able to put out some things last weekend). If I receive some of my printed media sources, I may try to put out a post later this evening with some of the stuff from that.

Look for some big announcements next week leading up to the Brickyard. It's pretty certain Ford will show the '98 Taurus stock car then (Wednesday, July 30 in an invitation-only affair, from what I understand), and there are rumors that there will be some major driver announcements also.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. Until next Wednesday, I am OUTTA HERE!

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

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Steve Park , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Jeff Green , Buckshot Jones , Johnny Benson , Cory McClenathan , Benny Parsons , Tony George , Robert Yates , Greg Sacks , Harry Gant , Mark Martin