News 97-10-08

NASCARFans E-Mail List Eddie D'Hondt has been named to the position of team manager of the Square D Racing Team effective immediately. He will oversee the day to day running of the operation. Before joining Filmar Racing and Square D Driver...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

Eddie D'Hondt has been named to the position of team manager of the Square D Racing Team effective immediately. He will oversee the day to day running of the operation. Before joining Filmar Racing and Square D Driver Kenny Wallace, the 38 year old D'Hondt worked for the #90 Junie Donlavey owned team as a tire specialist and crew chief assistant. (Trevor Adair) ========== Here's a note from one of our readers in Boston, Keith:

"Y'know how they can now 're-skin' a bus or trolley car to be a rolling advertisement ... instead of just one little section of the side of a bus being the ad, the *whole bus* including the windows is the ad.

Anyway, walking to work this morning in downtown Boston MA I caught a familiar face on the side of one of these buses ... a double larger than life Dale Jarrett! He was in the traditional racer face forward 'look at my uniform' pose, with a picture of the White Rain BGN car down the side of the bus along with his autograph. The caption said 'For Great Looking Hair' or something similar, though Dale's coiffure in the picture didn't look much different than his normal tangle of grey and black strands after a tough race. I found it humorous that Dale's visage would be staring off a bus in a traditionally non-auto racing city ... shows how far NASCAR has come, I guess."

I thought this might interest some of you. Thanks, Keith! ========== The #78 Hanes Ford Team announced today that they have released crew chief Bob Johnson and have signed driver Gary Bradberry to a one-year contract with an option for a second year (Jayski) ========== The Indy Racing League's first foray into the heart of NASCAR country, a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in July, was a solid success. Officials at the Charlotte track must be a little surprised at the IRL's way of saying thank you.

Charlotte Motor Speedway isn't happy with its 1998 IRL date -- July 25 -- because it comes on a weekend when the Winston Cup series will be in action at Pocono, Pa.

CMS officials wanted a July 18 date because that comes on the only open weekend on the 1998 Winston Cup schedule between May 10 and Oct. 18. The IRL, however, gave that weekend to Dover Downs International Raceway, which will be hosting an IRL race for the first time. (Charlotte.Com) ========== Sammy Johns could have been a vagabond on the PGA Tour, flailing away out in the sunshine and the peace and quiet of the fairways and the greens. So why is he so determined to pursue a career as a NASCAR crew chief?

''I've loved racing all my life,'' Johns said. ''Hung out at the local short tracks with my friends. I just love racing. I want to win races. That's why I do this. It's a career I'm happy with. I sleep good at night knowing I'm doing what I want to do.''

Johns was so detemined to make it in the tough business of stock-car racing that he loaded all his stuff into his car back in 1989 and drove from Winter Park, Fla., up to Darlington, where he stood at the NASCAR sign-in booth introducing himself to every driver and asking for a job. When he got to Jimmy Spencer, he got a yes.

Now, after several years as apprentice to Kirk Shelmerdine, as mechanic, tire specialist, fabricator and front-tire changer, Johns this year has finally made it to the big leagues, his first on the Winston Cup tour, with Grand National star and now Winston Cup rookie David Green, working for Buz McCall's fledgling team.

But wouldn't pro golf be a little easier than this?

''I enjoyed playing golf, but I wouldn't go as far as to say I could have made the tour,'' said Johns, a scratch golfer in his prime who plays to about an 11 now, at age 31. ''I played high-school golf, decent. To say I could have been pro, that may be stretching it. There are probably a million golfers out there now who could say 'I could have been a pro.' (Mike Mulhern, JournalNow) ========== NASCAR officials announced today that NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Boris Said has been fined $5,000, suspended until the fine is paid and penalized 42 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship points for his on-track actions during Sunday's Kragen/Exide 151 at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Said's actions, which involved contact with the No. 17 Sears DieHard Chevrolet of driver Rich Bickle, were deemed in violation of Section 12, Rule 4, Article A in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book: "Actions detrimental to auto racing -- Intentionally hitting another competitor's truck." Said, who drives the No. 44 Federated Auto Parts Ford, also has been placed on probation until Dec. 31, 1997 and any similar, subsequent actions will result in a two- (2) race suspension. (NASCAR Online) ========== Peripatetic and multi-talented Robby Gordon has been signed to drive Kurt Roehrig's DANA Dodge in the Oct. 18 No Fear Challenge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at California Speedway. Gordon flew from North Carolina Tuesday morning to participate in a two-day test at the two-mile speedway that concludes Wednesday. "We're pumped to get Robby back in our truck," said Roehrig of Gordon's planned third series start. "We're especially excited because the last time Robby ran with us, at Las Vegas, he did everything but win the race. He had to come from the back a couple times, once after he spun out, and he passed everyone more than once to come back to third before we ran out of tires at the end." Roehrig's driver shuffle has kept the personable team owner in a tizzy for most of the second half of the season, but he's enthused about his prospects for the remainder of 1997. In addition to Gordon, who will drive in no less than the fourth major league asphalt series he's contested this year, 1997 American Speed Association champion Kevin Cywinski will drive the DANA Dodge in the Dodge California Truckstop 300 at Mesa Marin Raceway this weekend and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the season finale Carquest 420k. And Roehrig Motorsport shop foreman Tom Hubert will get an unexpected fifth crack at the truck on Nov. 1 at Phoenix International Raceway. "We're also pretty pumped about the opportunity to get Tommy (Hubert) back in the truck for another race," said Roehrig of the 1998 'driver search' that he has conducted throughout the second half of the season. "He's a good fabricator, but I think he proved once again on Sunday that he's a better race driver. "I think he proved we had the fastest truck and a pretty fast driver, too." Hubert had the best qualifying run of the second half of the season and posted the truck's best finish in that period when he was second to Joe Ruttman in the Kragen/Exide 151 at Sears Point Raceway last Sunday. At the time it was to be his last race of the season. Gordon, whose primary ride this season was in Team SABCO's No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, has also driven in Indy Racing League and CART Indy car races. The California native drove in his first two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races last season. He started sixth and finished 13th at North Wilkesboro in a Team SABCO truck and started 16th and finished sixth in the Carquest 420k at Las Vegas. (NASCAR Online) ==========

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

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle , Dale Jarrett , Boris Said , Jimmy Spencer , Kenny Wallace , Robby Gordon , David Green , Joe Ruttman , Kirk Shelmerdine , Gary Bradberry , Kurt Roehrig , Buz McCall