News 97-12-17

NASCARFans E-Mail Newsletter ===== Jayski's news gatherings: will be on Billy Standridge's ...

NASCARFans E-Mail Newsletter ===== Jayski's news gatherings: will be on Billy Standridge's #47 Ford at the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Preview in Winston Salem, NC on Jan 10th.

I hear open wheel/sprint driver Jack Hewitt will drive a Bill Elliott Craftsman Truck in 1998. No idea of a sponsor or if it is a full time deal.

I hear if John Andretti finishes in the top 5 at Daytona, he will run in the Indy 500 in one of AJ Foyt's cars and while it has nothing to do with WC, I also hear that Al Unser Jr. will run the Indy 500 this year

I hear Old Navy Clothing will be Brett Bodine's sponsor for 1998.

Mike Wallace and Purolator will both return to Kenny Schrader's #52 Chevy in the Craftsman Truck Series for the 1998 season(NASCAR Online).

Terry Elledge from GM's racing research and development committee, has joined Bill Davis Racing, the #22 MBNA Pontiac WC team with driver Ward Burton. Elledge joins Davis' team as director of engine development, working with engine builder Frank Leisson.(NASCAR Online)

Thanks, Jay. ===== It's no secret that Bud Moore Engineering Inc. will be back on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series scene in 1998. And now, it's no secret anymore that Tim Steele will drive the No. 15 Ford for the legendary car owner next season. Those plans are set.

However, until a sponsor is signed and a few other small details in the package come together, Moore and his organization prefer to keep a low profile about the whole thing before making the official announcement about the deal.

Forgive the cliches, but the race team isn't putting the cart before the horse. They're not counting their chickens before they hatch. "It's not we're trying to keep a secret or something, but right now, we just don't have much to say about it," Moore's son, Greg Moore, said. "And it's been very difficult because we've had all kinds of press people calling us about the situation. We know that everybody knows that Tim Steele is going to run for the Rookie of the Year for us next year, but it's a situation where we don't want to upset anybody and we're going to wait a while before we say anything officially."

Greg Moore said that an official announcement should be forthcoming following the holidays, some time in early January, concerning Steele and a sponsor for the No. 15 Ford. That leaves the team about a month after to prepare for Speedweeks in Daytona and the season-opening Daytona 500.

(Shawn Akers, NASCAR Online) ===== Super 8 Motels, Inc. announced that it has renewed its NASCAR sponsorship with Bill Elliott Racing. The two-year associate sponsorship includes Elliott's No. 94 McDonald's Ford Thunderbird in the entire NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Super 8 logos will appear on the lower front quarter panels on the race car; as well as on the transporter that hauls the race cars and show cars; the merchandise trailers; and on Elliott's and the crew's uniforms. Super 8 has been an associate sponsor with Elliott since 1996.

(NASCAR Online) ===== No fewer than 55 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams used 67 pickup trucks Tuesday to prepare for the 1998 season-opening Chevy Trucks Challenge at Walt Disney World Speedway. And if the atmosphere during the season is anything like it was outside the gates of Disney World, the upcoming campaign should be "magic."

"I'd like to see the numbers dwindle down, then the competition level would be in our favor," said defending race champion Joe Ruttman, who'll try for two in a row at the Jan. 18 event. "I think this is great for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. I've always said this is the series where someone can come in without a lot of money, maybe not too many crew guys and a good driver and still have a chance to win a race.

"If you figure an old guy like me can do that just think what a young guy can do."

In a random sampling of hand-timed laps, 1997 Busch Pole Award champion Mike Bliss was quickest with a lap of 28.95 seconds around the relatively flat 1-mile Disney World oval, an average speed of 124.352 mph in the No. 2 Team ASE Ford.

The next four fastest drivers, as of 2:30 in the afternoon, were 1996 series champion Ron Hornaday, at 124.181 mph in the No. 16 NAPA Brakes Chevrolet; and defending champion Jack Sprague, Dave Rezendes and Tony Raines, who all ran 123.882 mph in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, No. 55 Icehouse Ford and No. 19 Pennzoil Ford, respectively. Those times had all been recorded with roughly 90 minutes of testing still to go.

(NASCAR Online) ===== As promised:

T minus 32 days and counting 'til the Craftsman Truck Series Chevy Trucks Challenge T minus 53 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Bud Shootout T minus 58 days and counting 'til the Busch Series NAPA Auto Parts 300 T minus 59 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Daytona 500 ====

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Brett Bodine , Ward Burton , Bill Elliott , Mike Wallace , Al Unser Jr. , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Joe Ruttman , Tim Steele , Jack Hewitt , Mike Bliss , Greg Moore
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Bill Davis Racing