News 97-12-15

NASCARFans E-Mail Newsletter It seems like there has been no slowing of NASCAR news in the off season. There will probably not be too much happening between Christmas and New Year's Day, but for now, enjoy the news....... ===== ...

NASCARFans E-Mail Newsletter

It seems like there has been no slowing of NASCAR news in the off season. There will probably not be too much happening between Christmas and New Year's Day, but for now, enjoy the news....... ===== Tobey has created a list of automobile racing track links (Atlanta, Tallaedga, etc) at:

http://www.tiac.net/users/tobey/nascar/tracks.htm ===== Jayski's compilation of news:

Diamond Ridge (owner of the #29 WC Chevy driven by Jeff Green) has hired former WC #6 Car Chief, Butch Hylton to be the crew chief for BGN driver Elliott Sadler in 5 Cup races in 1998. I assume it will be in the #66 Phillips 66 Chevy(RPN2Nite)

As rumored here in the past: Former CART driver Dominic Dobson will run for Rookie of the Year in the Truck Series in the PacWest Touring Car Group in the #78 MCI Dodge Ram. The Group is owned by Dobson and Bruce R. McCaw.(NASCAR Online)(and MCI is supposed to sponsor WC and BGN teams too) (note from Mike: more on Dodge's involvement in truck racing in a related story below)

Butch Miller will return to the #18 Dana Dodge and a second team by L&R Motorsports in 1998. L&R Motorsports other team is the #90 NHL Dodge driven by Lance Norick(NASCAR Online)

Dave Marcis has been selected as the fourth-quarter nominee for the National Motorsports Press Association Spirit Award. The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize sportsmanship, determination, extraordinary performance in the face of adversity, consideration of others and the promotion of motor sports. Rick Hendrick, Joe Nemechek and Rich Bickle are the other 1997 nominees(NASCAR Online)

National Speed Sport News reports that the proposed merger of USAC and NASCAR is close to happening slowly but surely(NSSN)

I hear that Morgan Shepherd is a candidate for the new Arby's/Fans #64 team.

Jay has the schedule for the upcoming ESPN race re-broadcasts at:

http://www.jayski.com/espn.html

Jayski Ponderings

Still Unknown for 1998:

1. Will the #14 Pontiac team owned by Richard Jackson run in 1998 or find a sponsor? 2. Who will sponsor Geoff Bodine in the #7? MCI/Worldcom? 3. Who will sponsor Brett Bodine in the #11? ? Old Navy Clothes? 4. Who will DW's sponsor be? FOX America's Most Wanted? Diehard? Wal-Mart? 5. Will the #27 David Blair team find sponsorship for driver Tommy Kendall? 6. Who will replace the Cartoon Network on the #29 Diamond Ridge Chevy? 7. Who will sponsor Billy Standridge and the #47 Ford? 8. Will the #64 Fan Sponsored Ford ever see the track and who will drive it? 9. Will the #91 LJ Racing Chevy find a full time sponsor? and will Kevin LePage drive the car? 10. Will the #95 Sadler Bros Chevy run in 1998? Who will drive the car? 11. Who will sponsor the Washington-Erving Ford? 7-Up/Dr Pepper? MCI? What will the # be? #12, #45 or #60? 12. Where will Morgan Shepherd end up? His own team? The #1 if sponsorship is found? 13. Do Mike Wallace, Loy Allen, Rick Wilson find WC rides in 1998

Thanks, Jay, for your time spent gathering the news. ===== One of the racing community's traditional holiday charity events will be held Thursday night in Mooresville (NC).

The eighth annual Stocks for Tots, to benefit neglected and abused children, will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at Lakeside Industrial Park in Mooresville (NC), the site of several NASCAR race shops.

Fans gain entrance to the industrial park by bringing a new toy or a cash donation. Once inside, teams open their shops for fans to visit and seek autographs from their favorite drivers. Proceeds go to Stop Child Abuse Now centers across the Carolinas.

Drivers expected to take part include Rusty Wallace, Jeff Burton, Rick Mast, Brett Bodine, Derrike Cope, Ernie Irvan, David Green, Morgan Shepherd, Randy LaJoie, Ron Hornaday, Mike Bliss, Jack Sprague, Elliott Sadler, Jeff Green, Steve Park, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jason Keller, Jeff Fuller, Tim Fedewa, Mike McLaughlin, Rodney Combs, Glenn Allen, Tracy Leslie, Stevie Reeves, Kevin Schwantz, Dennis Setzer, Shane Hall, Jimmy Foster, Mike Dillon, Matt Kenseth and Steven Christian.

Benny Parson and Mark Garrow will emcee a memorabilia auction, featuring driver's suits from Wallace and Dale Earnhardt plus sheet metal from race cars and other autographed items.

The event, coordinated by Don Miller of Penske Racing South, has raised more than $250,000 and collected truckloads of toys since its inception.

For information, call the 24-hour Stocks for Tots information line at (704) 522-5733. Donations can also be sent to P.O. Box 565, Mooresville, N.C. 28115.

(David Poole, Charlotte Observer) ===== Buckshot Jones had a surprise planned when he took his girlfriend, Jina Cadena, to a Tracy Byrd concert in Kenesaw, Ga., on Dec. 5. Byrd went backstage and enlisted Byrd's help in his plan, and halfway through his show Byrd invited Jones and Cadena onstage to introduce them.

Jones dropped to his knee and proposed to Cadena. She accepted, and Byrd serenaded them with ``Keeper of the Stars.''

The happy couple is still working on a wedding date.

(David Poole, Charlotte Observer) ===== Joe Ruttman will continue as driver of the No. 80 on the NASCAR Truck Series for owner Jack Roush.

Bob Gulbranson has been named crew chief on Hermie Sadler's No. 29 Grand National series car. Butch Hylton was named crew chief for Elliott Sadler's five-race Winston Cup program.

(D.P.) ===== A bit more on Dominic Dobson, and Dodge's involvement in truck racing, >from NASCAR Online:

Dodge Motorsports announced its lineup of teams for the 1998 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series prior to the season-ending Awards Banquet at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

In a show of support for the increased competitiveness of the Dodge trucks in the series, a total of six teams will field Dodge Rams full-time during 1998, up from five factory-backed teams in 1997. New drivers and new corporate sponsors will strengthen the Dodge contingent, making Dodge an even stronger force on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit.

CART PPG World Series and "Super Touring" veteran Dominic Dobson will drive the No. 78 Dodge Ram backed by telecommunications company MCI and run by PacWest Touring Car Group. Minneapolis-based Westbrook Motorsports will field a Ram with a soon-to-be-announced sponsorship package for another road racing veteran, Tommy Archer. The No. 18 DANA Dodge is reunited with driver Butch Miller this season, and will be raced by L&R Motorsports as part of a two-truck team.

In a continuation from the 1997 season, L&R will once again run the No. 90 NHL Dodge, driven by Lance Norick . The No. 29 Team Mopar Dodge -- which scored one of Dodge's two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victories in 1997 -- will be raced again by Bob Keselowski and the K Automotive team. Richard Petty Motorsports rejoins Dodge with its No. 43 Cummins Engine Company Dodge, driven by Jimmy Hensley.

Lou Patane, executive director of motorsports operations, Chrysler Corporation, emphasized Chrysler's "race-what-we-sell" philosophy and how the Dodge Rams racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series fit that philosophy.

"As a manufacturer, Chrysler returned to NASCAR racing because it is one of the most competitive racing arenas in the world, and it fits with our philosophy and strategy," Patane said. "There's no doubt that truck racing has fan appeal -- it's fast and it's exciting. Since trucks dominate a large segment of the marketplace, it's a natural fit for Dodge to go to the track and race the Ram against its marketplace competitors."

The major departure from the Dodge camp was Roehrig Motorsports, which scored the manufacturer's first major NASCAR victory in year's when driver Tony Raines drove the No. 19 Pennzoil Dodge to Victory Lane at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Mo., last season. Roehrig, Raines and Pennzoil will campaign a Ford in 1998. ===== As promised:

T minus 34 days and counting 'til the Craftsman Truck Chevy Trucks Challenge T minus 54 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Bud Shootout T minus 60 days and counting 'til the Busch Series NAPA Auto Parts 300 T minus 61 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Daytona 500 ====

Mike Irwin (mailto:mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________

NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com _______________________________________

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Rich Bickle , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Ernie Irvan , Matt Kenseth , Rusty Wallace , Steve Park , Jason Keller , Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green , Shane Hall , Buckshot Jones , Mike Wallace , Kevin Schwantz , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mike McLaughlin , Tony Raines , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Lance Norick , Tommy Archer , David Green , Joe Ruttman , Dave Marcis , Rick Mast , Hermie Sadler , Richard Petty , Jimmy Hensley , Mike Bliss , Morgan Shepherd , Jack Roush , Elliott Sadler , Dominic Dobson , Butch Miller , Stevie Reeves
Teams Team Penske , Richard Petty Motorsports