News 97-11-18

NASCARFans E-Mail List Benny Parsons speaking on the Charlotte NBC affiliate says that it has been confirmed that John Andretti has signed to drive the ...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

Benny Parsons speaking on the Charlotte NBC affiliate says that it has been confirmed that John Andretti has signed to drive the #43 car next year. (Thanks to Chaz Hinkle). ===== There is an excellent article entitled "In the Best Interest of the Sport", written by Stan Creekmore of National Speed Sport News. The article talks about Billy Standridge's recent run at Talladega, and the subsequent controversy about Billy's leased engine heads. A definate good read.

Jayski has permission to display the article on his web site: ===== "The NASCAR Thunder Special - Suzuka is the second of the NASCAR exhibition races in the Pacific Rim, scheduled to be held at Suzuka Circuitland on Sunday, Nov. 23, at. 12:30pm (Japan Time). Because Japan is 14 hours ahead of the United States, the race will air live in the United States on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 10:40pm (EST), TBS Superstation will broadcast the race live in the United States." (Fast Lane Racing/Jayski) ===== "Charlotte Motor Speedway will not be part of the 1998 International Race of Champions(IROC) series. The series, matching drivers from various racing circuits in identical cars, has raced at CMS on the Friday night before The Winston the past two years. Next year's IROC schedule reportedly will include Daytona, Talladega, Indianapolis and California. The addition of an IROC event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway could rekindle interest in the series, which Mark Martin has won the past two years. CMS also has decided to take the July 25 date it was given by the Indy Racing League for its second open-wheel event. The track doesn't like having that race scheduled on the same weekend Winston Cup cars are racing at Pocono, Pa., but officials have decided to live with it."(Charlotte Observer) / Jayski ===== Jayski heard Cale Yarborough has made Rich Bickle an offer and the sponsor will be Thorne Apple Valley a meat processing company and that the team is going to have to come up with 1 or 2 associates to be able to maintain the budget they got from RCA. ===== I had a couple of inquiries about who's going where for 1998. Jayski has an excellent page that covers this very thing. Here's the URL: ===== NARROWEST WINSTON CUP MARGINS

Yr Winner Runner-up Pts '92 Alan Kulwicki Bill Elliott 10 '79 Richard Petty Darrell Waltrip 11 '89 Rusty Wallace D. Earnhardt 12 '97 Jeff Gordon Dale Jarrett 14 '80 D. Earnhardt C. Yarborough 19 '88 Bill Elliott Rusty Wallace 24 '90 D. Earnhardt Mark Martin 26 '95 Jeff GordonD. Earnhardt 34 '96 Terry Labonte Jeff Gordon 37 '83 Bobby Allison Darrell Waltrip 47 (Charlotte Observer) ===== >From a David Poole article on the Charlotte Observer site, Jeff Gordon speaking about his little pit road "faux paux":

``I was pretty upset at myself,'' said Gordon, who lost control of his Chevrolet and smashed into Bobby Hamilton's Pontiac. ``I wouldn't have hit anything if (Hamilton's) car hadn't been sitting there, but I wouldn't have hit him if I hadn't been a bonehead. ``We had enough pressure as it was coming in here. We didn't need to add to it the way we did.'' ===== The aptly named Buckshot Jones fired another round of controversy in his initial appearance on the Winston Cup circuit. Already known for his no-fear racing that often gets him fined in the Busch series, Jones lasted just 38 laps yesterday before mixing it up with Brett Bodine in a crash that ultimately ended the day for both drivers. Afterward, Bodine - who said the wreck clearly was Jones' fault - was hot and made no secret of his ire. "That guy is ridiculous," Bodine said. "In every division he's in, he wrecks people. I've never seen nothing like it. All the penalties and fines and everything in Busch obviously didn't mean nothing to him, because he comes over here and does it again." Jones shot back that he didn't appreciate Bodine's comments, that he had as much right to be here as Bodine, that he didn't think he necessarily was the reason for the crash, and that such comments might be the reason Bodine is having sponsorship problems. (Skip Wood, Richmond Times-Dispatch) ===== John Andretti only just finalized his plans for 1998 in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, but the 1997 Pepsi 400 champion made history Monday at Daytona International Speedway by helping erect the initial light pole for the "world's largest lighting project." In the process he might have opened the door for a second career. Andretti, who will drive the Petty Enterprises No. 43 STP Pontiac in 1998, took time out from finalizing plans to make an appearance at NASCAR's most famous track. "Guys, I'm sorry but I've got to go -- we've got some work to do here," Andretti said good-naturedly to a group of media members, instantly sliding into the milieu of a construction worker or an electrician, as he stood near the backstretch at Daytona in the midst of concrete pilings and metal light poles. Of course, he was kidding, but the surroundings were no joke. These are the trappings of a project that is slowly transforming the "World Center of Racing" into a facility capable of hosting the nighttime running of what is being billed as one of the most anticipated events in NASCAR Winston Cup Series history -- the July 4, 1998, Pepsi 400. After hundreds of thousands of competitive miles driven on the hallowed grounds of Daytona, lights will be turned on for the first time for a NASCAR Winston Cup Series event there for the 40th running of the Pepsi 400. "Racing under the lights is going to be fun at Daytona," said Andretti, whose 1997 Pepsi 400 victory was his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series win. "I love racing at night. I grew up racing sprint cars and midgets at night -- like Ken Schrader and Jeff Gordon -- and we didn't have Musco Lighting at those tracks -- you couldn't see anything. "It's going to be exciting for the fans. The cars look better at night, and as close as the pack is going to be together here, it's only going to add to the excitement. Nobody has ever seen a restrictor plate race at night before, so I think I'm just as excited as the fans to see how it's all going to come off." The project, which is being directed by Musco Lighting, Inc., the "leaders in sports and large-area lighting," involves more than 2,025 fixtures on 174 poles ranging from 60 to 110 feet in height. It requires 150 miles of wire, 800 tons of concrete and 2,600 square feet of mirrors, located on more than 550 four-foot "Mirtran" fixtures located in the speedway's infield. These fixtures reflect the light produced on poles outside the speedway onto the track surface. Speedway spokesman John Story said the track anticipated having all the exterior poles up soon. However, the interior fixtures will not be completed until sometime in the spring, and the initial test of the complete system would be in April or May. Story said the lights, carrying power equivalent to the high beams of 87,000 automobiles, would not be available for any events during Speedweeks 1998, scheduled for Jan. 31 to Feb. 15. When the project is completed next spring, it will take 3.5 million watts of power per hour to illuminate the lights -- or an amount equivalent to the power it would take to light a residential street running from Daytona Beach to Musco's headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa. Musco claims the system is efficient and cost-effective, however, as its fact sheet for the project lists a per-hour cost of only $240 based on a rate of seven cents per kilowatt. Andretti helped Musco project manager Mark Flesner assemble some of the first fixtures on the first pole to be erected, and then guided the massive 110-foot pole onto its permanent concrete base alongside the Speedway's "Superstretch." (NASCAR Online) ===== Bobby Labonte and Jimmy Makar made a deal following their win in Sunday's NAPA 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The duo agreed to never wait until the last race of the season to win their first race of the year. "We made a pact," Labonte said. "After the race, Jimmy said 'Let's not wait this long again.' Next year we're not going to wait this long to get a win." (NASCAR Online) ===== Mike Irwin ( NASCAR Fans _______________________________________

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Rich Bickle , Brett Bodine , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Ken Schrader , Buckshot Jones , Richard Petty , Benny Parsons , Bobby Allison , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin , Alan Kulwicki