News 98-01-16

NASCARFans E-Mail List ====== First, Jayski's news: UPDATE: Joe Garone has been named crew chief for Bill Elliott in 1998. Former crew chief Mike Beam was promoted to chief operating officer of the organization. Beam had been the crew chief...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

====== First, Jayski's news:

UPDATE: Joe Garone has been named crew chief for Bill Elliott in 1998. Former crew chief Mike Beam was promoted to chief operating officer of the organization. Beam had been the crew chief since 1995. (Speedworld) (1-14-98). Garone was Rick Carelli's crew chief for 6 years in NASCAR's Southwest and Winston West Series, and in the Truck Series. He has been the suspension specialist and front tire changer on the Elliott team since 1996.(NASCAR Online)(1-15-98)

Rusty Wallace, driver of the Miller Lite #2 Ford, will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in ceremonies scheduled for Feb. 1 in Springfield, Mo.(NASCAR Online)

"The annual Miller Lite Russ Catlin Awards for journalism were awarded Wednesday. The awards, judged by the journalism school at Indiana State University, honor the top members of motorsports media. The awards are named after the late Russ Catlin, the former public relations director at Darlington Raceway. Humpy Wheeler calls Catlin, "the great PR man who ever was." This year's winners were: Phil Cavalli, Photo Journalism; Ron Wagner, Print Category; Bob Zeller, Print Category; Charlie Sherman, Local Broadcast Category; Julie Smith, National Broadcast Category."(NASCAR Online)

Chicago native and present Clayton, GA. resident Mike Ciochetti will enter his first Winston Cup race ever at this year's Daytona 500. Hover Motorsports, Ad-Venture Motorsports, Hughes Supply and Blade Sportswear is proud to be a part of Mike's first Winston Cup race. Mike raced the Super Speedway ARCA Schedule in 1997 with imagination and creativity on the race track and support from Orlando, FL based Hughes Supply, and Macon, GA based Blade Sportswear. Mike was part of the exciting finish at the last ARCA race of the season back in November at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mike will be racing a Hover Motorsports Ford and should be testing soon in Daytona. He is aware that his deal came through a little late for the testing he desired, but is grateful for the chance to enter qualifying for this year's race. He will also race the ARCA race in Daytona as well.(Speedworld)

Joining the information superhighway, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. has launched its website, http://www.speedwaymotorsports.com. Speedway Motorsports, its history, speedway portfolio, subsidiaries, Board of Directors, and investor relations are on the site.

Mike Stefanik, The 1997 Modified and Busch North champ, and winner of the Eastern Motorsports Press Association's Northeast Driver of the Year Award, will run the John Andretti Busch Car for a 4 race deal. (Rockingham, Nashville, Atlanta, and Darlington)

Dominic Dobson is leaving his Indy-style car and sports-car roots to participate in one of America's favorite new racing circuits, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Dobson will make his NCTS debut in the second annual Chevy Trucks Challenge at Walt Disney World Speedway on Sunday, Jan. 18. Dobson will wheel the No.78 Dodge Ram pickup, prepared by the PacWest Team based in Indianapolis.

Bill Elliott was one of seven drivers at Talladega Superspeedway Tuesday, testing for the upcoming season. Elliott also had Dennis Setzer and David Bonnett helping test cars for his 3-day test. Also testing NASCAR Winston Cup cars was Ricky Rudd with assistance from Morgan Shepherd. Hermie Sadler, Elliott Sadler and Bobby Hillin were testing their NASCAR Busch Series cars.(Speedworld)

Thanks, Jayski =====

Wayne Robertson, who will be remembered for his leadership and innovations in sports marketing and for his love and enthusiasm for his work and for life, is coming home to Winston-Salem for a final time.

The funeral for Robertson, who was killed in a boating accident Wednesday on a Louisiana bayou, will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University.

Robertson, who was 48, was president of Sports Marketing Enterprises, the arm of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. that handles sports sponsorships. Through the Winston cigarette brand's sponsorship of NASCAR's premier series, Winston Cup, Robertson was one of the most influential and widely respected figures in motorsports.

``Wayne was a great personal and professional friend to me,'' NASCAR President Bill France Jr. said in a statement Thursday. ``His death will be felt terribly by everyone involved in NASCAR racing.''

Visitation for Robertson will be tonight from 6 to 9 at Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home, 3315 Silas Creek Parkway, in Winston-Salem. Burial will be at Westlawn Gardens in Clemmons, N.C.

Mr. Robertson is survived by his wife, Dana, and two children, Toby and Kim. The family requests that memorials be sent to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, 11350 McCormick Road, Executive Plaza #1, Suite 800, Hunt Valley, Md. 21031-1014.

Robertson was among seven people on a 28-foot boat that collided with a 110-foot oil rig crew boat near the intracoastal waterway in Vermilion Parish, La. Only one of those seven survived. (David Poole, Charlotte Observer) =====

Several Winston Cup teams have mission statements or words of inspiration on the walls of their shops. The sign at Dave Marcis' in Arden captures the essence of his career. ``We have done so much with so little for so long,'' the sign says, ``that we can now do anything with nothing.''

That determination is why Marcis was named the 1997 winner of the National Motorsports Press Association's Spirit Award. The award recognizes sportsmanship, determination, extraordinary performance in the face of adversity, consideration of others and the promotion of motorsports.

Marcis, 57, is about to enter his 31st Winston Cup season. He has 834 starts, more than any active driver, with five career victories.

``I just enjoy racing,'' Marcis said Thursday when the BellSouth Media Tour paid him a visit. ``It's just the way I chose to make a living, just like a guy who makes a living working in a factory.''

Marcis' shop isn't as fancy as some used by racing's more well-financed teams. Crew chief Lee Leslie has seven full-time employees working on Marcis' Chevrolets. Few teams, for example, have a person on staff like Dwayne Leik, who doubles as Marcis' jackman and public relations man.

``The people who work here are pretty versatile,'' Marcis said. ``At other shops, you might have a guy who works on nothing but springs or on shocks. Everybody here does everything. If the floor needs sweeping and somebody's not busy, he sweeps the floor.'' (David Poole, Charlotte Observer) =====

Gary Grossenbacher, an engineer with more than 15 years' experience in racing, is the new crew chief for Wally Dallenbach's No. 46 Chevrolet. Grossenbacher, who most recently spent four years at Motorsports Research and Design on testing the Monte Carlo, will also serve as team engineer for all three of Team SABCO's teams. (David Poole, Charlotte Observer)

=====

HE SAID IT: Felix Sabates knows one of Ford's favorite arguments in the debate against Chevrolet is the Monte Carlo managed 11 wins last year. Sabates also knows Jeff Gordon won 10 of those. ``Jeff Gordon is a great race car driver and Ray Evernham is a great crew chief,'' Sabates said. ``You put the combination of those two together and put them in a Jeep Wagoneer, they're going to win 10 races. If you put Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham in a Ford, they might have won all the races last year.'' (David Poole, Charlotte Observer) You can always count on Felix to say something to liven up the situation, can't you?

=====

Sabates doesn't want to hear about it.

Sabates, owner of three Chevrolet teams, is tired of hearing Ford's Winston Cup team owners complain about how it's not going to be a fair fight when their new Taurus goes up against the Monte Carlo and the Pontiac Grand Prix in 1998.

``When we go to any other track besides Daytona or Talladega, the Ford is going to have the best car anywhere,'' Sabates said Thursday. ``What the heck are they crying about? It's only four races, I would give up four races to win the other 29.'' Sabates was ready when the BellSouth Media Tour stopped at his shop in Mooresville. As soon as he was asked about the Taurus, he stood, reached behind him and unfolded a blue towel.

On the towel was a circle with the word ``Ford'' inside. Underneath that logo representation were the words ``Crying Towel.'' (David Poole, Charlotte Observer) ===== Lucent Technologies today (Jan. 15) announced it will be an associate sponsor on the Team SABCO #42 BellSouth Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek during the 1998 Winston Cup season.

"We in Lucent look forward to joining BellSouth's outstanding NASCAR racing effort, and being associated with Team SABCO," said Sherwood Robins, vice president-BellSouth Region for Lucent Technologies. (RacingPR Website) ===== Defending Daytona 500 champion Jeff Gordon posted the fastest time thus far during pre-season testing as General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup teams concluded a three-day test at Daytona International Speedway Wednesday in preparation for the all-new Bud Shootout At Daytona (Feb. 8) and the "Great American Race," the 40th Annual Daytona 500 (Feb. 15).

Gordon was clocked at 47.580 seconds, an average speed of 189.155 mph, in one of two Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlos that he drove on the day. (RacingPR Website) =====

Mike Irwin (mailto:NASCARFans@Rocketmail.Com) NASCARFans _____________________________________

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Wally Dallenbach , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Rusty Wallace , Joe Nemechek , Dennis Setzer , Dave Marcis , Hermie Sadler , Rick Carelli , Morgan Shepherd , Dwayne Leik , Ray Evernham , Elliott Sadler , Dominic Dobson , Mike Ciochetti , Felix Sabates
Teams Hendrick Motorsports