News 98-01-05

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send mail to ( subject line: subscribe or subject line: unsubscribe _____ Apparently the 1998 Suzuka post season Cup race has been cancelled. If you're interested, check out the story here:

Thanks to Mike and Cliff for the heads-up! _____

If you're interested in giving ESPN feedback on their great Christmas/New Years racing marathons, John Roth dug up this web address for you:

I would heartily encourage each of you to send them some positive feedback on this, maybe they'll do it more often. _____

1996 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte posted the fastest time for the second consecutive day as GM NASCAR Winston Cup testing continued Sunday at Daytona International Speedway as teams prepare for the all-new Bud Shootout At Daytona (Feb. 8) and the "Great American Race," the 40th Annual Daytona 500 (Feb. 15).

Labonte was clocked at 47.766 seconds, an average speed of 188.419 mph, in one of two Hendrick Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlos that he drove on the day.

"This is the same car we've run here in the past," said Labonte. "It's a good car and that's a decent speed. That's better than we thought we would run, so we've got to be pretty happy with it." Labonte, who finished second in both NASCAR Winston Cup Series races held at Daytona in 1997, hopes 1998 will finally be his year to capture an elusive Daytona 500 title. "We've come so close in the past. I like Daytona and we think we have a good combination for the racetrack.

"The Daytona 500 is just a hard race to win. It's a race you see people win that it's their first race they've ever won. Then you seen guys like Earnhardt and myself that have run here a lot and run good, that have never won it. 1998 would be a great year to win it. Aside from the record purse (minimum of $6 million), because I won Talladega, I'm eligible for the (No Bull 5) million dollar bonus. In last year's restrictor plate races, we had a first, two seconds and a sixth. We just hope we can maintain that momentum in this race here. It would be nice to win, it's definitely the biggest race we run."

The GM test concludes tomorrow. Ford NASCAR Winston Cup teams will be at the Speedway starting Tuesday to open their first of two three-day January test sessions. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open daily at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction." Guided tours of the Speedway are also available from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a nominal fee.

(Speeds below are not in order)

5 Terry Labonte/Chevrolet 188.419 40 Sterling Marlin/Chevrolet 185.613 5a Jack Sprague/Chevrolet 188.387 91 Kevin LePage/Chevrolet 185.494 33 Ken Schrader/Chevrolet 188.182 17 Darrell Waltrip/Chevrolet 185.219 33a Andy Hillenburg/Chevrolet 188.033 96a Mark Green/Chevrolet 184.942 41 Steve Grissom/Chevrolet 187.297 18 Bobby Labonte/Pontiac 184.718 31 Mike Skinner/Chevrolet 186.994 40a Elton Sawyer/Chevrolet 184.211 4 Bobby Hamilton/Chevrolet 186.776 17a Phil Parsons/Chevrolet 183.703 31a Mike Dillon/Chevrolet 186.699 18 Tony Stewart/Pontiac 183.405 8 Hut Stricklin/Chevrolet 186.528 71 Dave Marcis/Chevrolet 183.270 96 David Green/Chevrolet 185.851 03 Dan Pardus/Chevrolet 181.218

(courtesy of Racing PR Website)

This story is also reported on the NASCAR Online website in very good detail ( _____

Steve Park expects the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo to pass cars on the track during the 1998 Winston Cup season, and Friday's announcement by Dale Earnhardt Inc. Team Manager Ty Norris should help Park also gain positions during pit stops.

Norris announced the crew members who will service the Pennzoil Monte Carlo during pit stops in 1998. The roster includes: rear tire changer Chad Knause, jackman Walter Smith and front tire carrier Gary Smith.

Knause will serve as the DEI team's car chief and the Smith brothers, who own two Nautilus centers in the Charlotte area, will supervise the pit stops practices as well as the team's physical conditioning. The trio earned All-Pro pit crew honors during their careers at Hendrick Motorsports. Knause worked for Jeff Gordon's two-time Winston Cup championship team since its inception in 1993 and the Smiths have worked for Hendrick since 1987 including Terry Labonte's 1996 championship team.

The Pennzoil pit crew also includes front tire changer Travis Block, gas man Troy Cole, catch can man Charles Dickey and rear tire carrier Kevin Manion. Block played a key role in the quick pit stops by Kyle Petty last year. Manion, Block and Dickey will also work in the DEI shop as mechanics. Cole is the team's truck driver.

(courtesy of the Racing PR website) _____

As promised:

T minus 13 days and counting 'til the Craftsman Chevy Trucks Challenge T minus 34 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Bud Shootout T minus 38 days and counting 'til the Gatorade Twin 125 Qualifiers T minus 40 days and counting 'til the Busch Series NAPA Auto Parts 300 T minus 41 days and counting 'til the Winston Cup Daytona 500 _____

Mike Irwin (mailto:Mike@NASCARFans.Com) NASCARFans _______________________________________

NASCAR Fans Website _______________________________________

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Elton Sawyer , Sterling Marlin , Hut Stricklin , Jack Sprague , Andy Hillenburg , Mark Green , David Green , Dave Marcis , Steve Grissom , Phil Parsons , Gary Smith , Chad Knaus
Teams Hendrick Motorsports