Notebook 95-01-31

== Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-01-31 == -------------------------------------- Cowboys and NASCAR -------------------------------------- NASCAR's two-time Daytona 500 winner, Sterling Marlin, could be seen celebrating on the sidelines after...

== Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-01-31 ==

-------------------------------------- Cowboys and NASCAR -------------------------------------- NASCAR's two-time Daytona 500 winner, Sterling Marlin, could be seen celebrating on the sidelines after the Dallas Cowboys won their 8th NFC divisonal championship. Sterling Marlin and Cowboys' quarterback Troy Aikman have had a long-standing friendship. Sterling has reported in the past that he has invited Aikman to attend several NASCAR races, while Aikman has returned the favor by inviting him to Dallas Cowboy games, including Conference Championships and Superbowls.

PS: How 'bout them Cowboys!!! Four-time champs!

------------------------------------ TNN's IWCR becomes IN ------------------------------------ TNN's popular weekend racing show formerly called Inside Winston Cup Racing has been renamed Inside NASCAR, due to the additional coverage of NASCAR's Busch Grand National, SuperTruck, and other NASCAR series.

------------------------------------ Harry Gant Rides Again ------------------------------------ Harry Gant will come out of retirement and drive the #33 SuperTruck in 10 of the 24 NASCAR SuperTruck races this season. The team has several associate sponsors lined up, but doesn't have a primary sponsor as of yet.

-------------------------------------- Geoff Bodine picks up QVC -------------------------------------- Geoff Bodine recently announced that his primary sponsor for the '96 Winston Cup Season will be QVC, a popular television home shopping network that often features NASCAR drivers on their show.

------------------------------------------ IROC Drivers & Races Announced ------------------------------------------ The following drivers will run the IROC series in 1996: Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte, Johnny Benson Jr., Steve Kinser, Al Unser Jr., Scott Pruett, Robby Gordon and Tom Kendall.

The series has drivers compete in identically prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans-Ams, which are replacing the Dodge Avengers that ran the series the past two years. They will be competing for $760,000 in prize money, with the series champion collecting $225,000 bonus.

The series will begin at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 16. Races also are scheduled April 27 at Talladega Superspeedway, May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in Concord, N.C. and Aug. 17 at Michigan International Speedway. Word has it that the Charlotte race will be at night, a first for the series.

------------------------------------ NASCAR Invades Japan ------------------------------------ NASCAR recently announced (on Nov. 30, 1995) a three-year agreement to run demonstration races in Japan, beginning Nov. 24, 1996. The first race will be an invitational featuring about 30 Winston Cup and Winston West racers.

Dale Earnhardt visited Japan this past month as past of the promotional campaign, and took laps around the Suzuka Circuitland track in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo as part of the Suzuka's "Thanks to Motorsports Fans Day." He and the rest of the Richard Childress Racing team also took part in pit-stop demonstrations.

Other NASCAR folks that made the trip to Japan included Mike Helton, NASCAR's vice president for competition; Ken Clapp, NASCAR's vice president for western operations; team owner Richard Childress; and crew members Danny Meyers, Charles Crook, Curt Richey, James Robinette and Robert Scott. In addition, the Morgan-McClure team, which fields Chevrolets for two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin, sent along Mike Hagler and Mike McCarthy to exhibit the team's show car.

------------------------------------------------ Bud Moore still Sponsorless at Daytona ------------------------------------------------ Winston Cup team owner Bud Moore continues to keep his Winston Cup program running while continuing his search for a primary sponsor.

Moore recently hired former Winston Cup regular Wally Dallenbach Jr. as test driver for the Ford tests this past month at Daytona International Speedway, with hopes that Wally was able to attract a sponsor. But recent reports from the team's fan club's hotline indicate that Dick Trickle may be back in the driver's seat.

Recent rumors have been circulating that Circuit City may be considering becoming a sponsor for Moore's team. Circuit City is a large retail outlet that sells computers, tvs, stereos, and other electronic goods. If a sponsor is not found soon, Moore may pull out of running Daytona.

--------------------------------------------- Kenny Wallace Goes Penske Truckin' --------------------------------------------- Rusty Wallace's younger brother, Kenny Wallace, will be the Penske team's SuperTruck driver in 1996. Don Miller, president and general manager of the Penske team, said that after watching Kenny run a few SuperTruck races at the end of last year, they were excited to hire him for the '96 season.

Kenny, who also will compete with his brothers Rusty and Mike in NASCAR's Winston Cup series in a FILMAR Racing Ford, will drive 14 SuperTruck events in Roger Penske's Ford F-150, as well run as many as a a dozen races in NASCAR's Busch Grand National division.

Wallace explains: "We expect to be a competitive factor at every race we run this season, whether it's with the Red Dog Grand National Ford Thunderbird in a race at Daytona or in the Red Dog F-150 SuperTruck in a race at Monroe, Wash."

Speaking of Kenny Wallace, TNN Inside NASCAR reported that he and the #8 Filmar Racing Red Dog BGN team went to a Jeff Foxworthy concert, to take a break from the hectic racing schedule. Jeff's new NASCAR redneck joke is: "If your favorite NASCAR souvenir is a results of crash in turn 3, then you might be a redneck."

---------------------------------------- Eli Gold Is Switching Channels ---------------------------------------- The famous voice of NASCAR's Motor Racing Network for 20 years, Eli Gold, is joining TNN Motorsports to host that network's first live, weekly call-in motorsports talk program.

The new show, called "Saturday Night With Eli Gold," debuts Saturday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. EST and repeats at 2 a.m. on Feb. 11. The one-hour show will be broadcast live from NASCAR tracks and other locations across the United States, featuring on-set interviews with audience and viewer participation. Gold will continue to host "NASCAR Live," a weekly, nationally syndicated radio show heard on 290 stations, as well as staying on as the radio voice of University of Alabama football and basketball.

-------------------------------------- Casey Elliott passes away -------------------------------------- Casey Elliott, the son of Ernie Elliott and Sheila Elliott died Sunday at his home after a long bout with cancer. Ernie Elliott, a member of the McDonald's-Elliott Racing Team, is the engine builder for his brother Bill Elliott. Casey, the nephew of NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, was 21 years old. Survivors also included two sisters.

In lieu of flowers, the Elliott's have requested that a donation be made to the American Cancer Society, Dawsonville Chapter.

American Cancer Society c/o Bearden Funeral Home Highway 53 Dawsonville, GA 30534

-------------------------------------------- Earnhardt, RCR and GM thru 2000 ------------------------------------------- GM Goodwrench Service, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Dale Earnhardt recently announced that they will continue their championship teamwork into the 21st Century.

The four- year agreement for a NASCAR Winston Cup program takes the championship trio through the year 2000. GM Goodwrench Service, the name used by GM Service Parts Operation (SPO) to provide parts and service through GM dealers, first joined the team as an associate sponsor in 1985 and has been the primary sponsor since 1987. At the completion of this extension GM Goodwrench Service, RCR and Earnhardt will have been associated together for 16 years, one of the longest associations in Winston Cup between a Sponsor, Owner, and Driver.

Childress and Earnhardt started their relationship in 1981 when Childress gave up his seat in the race car to let Earnhardt drive the last 11 races of that season. The two rejoined for the 1984 season and have been together ever since, winning 59 races and six championships.

----------------------------------- Bruton Smith buys BIR ----------------------------------- Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports Inc. have recently purchased Bristol (Tenn.) Raceway from track founder Larry Carrier. The deal gives Speedway Motorsports Inc. full ownership of three NASCAR Winston Cup Series tracks, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Bristol International Raceway

Smith and his company also own 50 percent of North Wilkesboro Speedway, and Smith personally owns about 26 percent of North Carolina Motor Speedway (The Rock). In addition, he is currently building a new track, to be called Texas Motor Speedway, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with hopes of opening it this fall.

The real impact of this transition of power is yet to be determined, but some say Bruton is building up an empire of Winston Cup tracks to ensure that he eventually gets a Winston Cup race at his new track in Texas. However, Burton has this to say: "We have absolutely, unequivocally no plans to move a Winston Cup race from Bristol. As a matter of fact, we already have been looking at several possible areas of improving the speedway, including additional seats."

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------------------------------------------- Ken's NASCAR Notebook is online ------------------------------------------- In addition to being uploaded to the Motorsports New International, the latest issue of my NASCAR Notebook is uploaded to my web servers at the following locations:  (external - slow 
 to update)         (initially under the latest 50 articles)

Also, this notebook is shared on some other online services, such as racEnews.

-------------------------------------- I have a new email address -------------------------------------- I have a new email address []. You can still reach me at my old XNS address [] for now, and I still have the Compuserve Acct as well [].

Happy Motoring :-) =Ken=

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dick Trickle , Rusty Wallace , Kenny Wallace , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Pruett , Johnny Benson , Steve Kinser , Robert Scott , Tom Kendall , Mike Helton , Roger Penske , Harry Gant , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing