Notes 95-06-15

Pocono Notes: ---------- On about the 4th lap of the race, Sterling Marlin punted Dale Jarrett when Jarrett apparently checked-up going into a corner behind another car. The spin caused Jarrett to slam into the wall hard with the back end of the...

Pocono Notes: ---------- On about the 4th lap of the race, Sterling Marlin punted Dale Jarrett when Jarrett apparently checked-up going into a corner behind another car. The spin caused Jarrett to slam into the wall hard with the back end of the car, and sent him to the garage area for major repairs. While the smoking car sat in the garage area all-by-itself, Jarrett was found in the #4 pit area having "words" with Marlin's crew chief, Tony Glover. Dale managed to evade his brother Glen, TNN Pit Reporter, for an on-camera interview.

Speaking of Rusty Wallace, he fought an ill-handling race car all day long at the UAW-GM Teamwork 500 at Pocono, but managed to stay within striking distance of the leaders. Unfortuneately, he succumbed to the car's handling problems with a spin-out in the last laps of the race. His smokin' pirouette dropped him out the top 5 into 17th place, but didn't cause a caution.

The missed shift heard 'round the world. NASCAR's "wonder boy" Jeff Gordon was dominate for much of the race and appeared to be unbeatable until he handed the race to teammate Texas Terry Labonte on the final re-start by missing the shift from 2nd to 3rd.

After not being a contender all day, Earnhardt made his presence known in the final laps and drove his way into a top ten finish.

Bill Elliott's resurrected "Thunderbat" brought good luck this weekend, as he finished in a season's high of 6th place after taking on only two tires during the last pit stop under caution. Elliott will run the black Thunderbat one more time when NASCAR visits Michigan at the next race this coming weekend. [[BTW - Thunderbat collectables are now available from the Ford Motorsports Apparell catalog. Call 1-800-444-4503 for your free catalog.]]

Oh yes, and how about the Roush folks who put together Ted Musgrave's Family Channel Ford? A brand new car, never been tested, no practice, and still managed to put he thing in second place. ANd to top it all off, he swtiches points positions with his teammate Mark Martin.

TNN's Inside Winston Cup Racing filmed much of their weekend's show from the Kellogg's Corn Flakes garage in the Hendrick's stable. This may be the start of the next good luck charm for the winston cup drivers, since this is about the 2nd or 3rd time that IWCR did their show from that weekend race winner's garage.

And just when you thought you could actually hear the Winston Cup cars during a TNN broadcast, the sounds of horns beeping and dogs barking mysteriously ring forth and make you wonder where they moved the microphones to this time :-)

Pocono Quotes ----------- TED MUSGRAVE: ..."We kind of figured that kind of run for Pocono. Pocono's been a strong race track for me. I just had to uphold that tradition here. The car was really prepared well today. ...This is a brand new car, never seen a race track before. And to go 500 miles here at Pocono flawlessly, my hat's off to the crew to bring this out for me. ...This team is really coming together. The program we have is on track and hasn't faltered at all. I'm really proud of these guys. They get me in and out of the pits, the calls in the pits are good, the setups are all good, and it all comes out. It couldn't be any better. ...Ernie was in the TV booth and on one of the cautions, he said to me, 'You know, never in history has a first-time win happened here at Pocono'. And I said, 'Well, you're not putting a lot of pressure on me, are you, Ernie?' But, like I said, those Hendrick cars were awfully strong."

HUT STRICKLIN: ..."I'm hoping and praying that we can keep everybody on this team together, because, man, we all get along so good. It's just a really good feeling. I can't wait to get to the race track every morning. I'm the first driver here every day. ...I'm not big on stats, but this feels good. This is like the peak performance of my career these three races, and for a guy and a team that everybody'd basically written off, I can't believe it. ...It seems like we're right on the verge of winning any week. It's just really too much for me to grasp right now."

Misc. News & Tidbits --------------- Buddy Parrot, former Rusty Wallace crew chief, has resigned from the Diamond Ridge team. Two possible reasons have been given: One reason is that he did so in protest over his son having been fired, and the other is that he was upset after being demoted from Team Manager to Vice-President. Buddy's reasoning is that he didn't like the way the team was being managed. Speculation has him returning to the Rusty Wallace team as team manager, and rumor has Darrell Waltrip talking to him for a possible job with the #17 team.

Bruton Smith, of Speedway Motorsports Inc. - owner of Charlotte & Atlanta Speedways, has apparently contacted the North Carolina Speedway board members about purchasing a 100% interest in track known as "The Rock" for an estimated price of more than $16 million. Bruton currently holds about 24% of the tracks stock, and was recently upset over the fact that Penske Speedway Inc. was allowed to purchase a minority share (2%) of stock as well as the fact that Penske Speedway president Walt Czarnecki was appointed an officer on the Board of Directors. The DeWitt-Wilson family members retain about 66% of the shares of the stock the privately traded stock.

NASCAR is rethinking its previous decision to switch the Winston Cup engines over to lower 9.5:1 compression ratio for the 1996 season. Apparently, there is a shortage of parts due to the growing popularity of the Busch Series and the SuperTruck series, which both use the 9.5:1 engines. According to a car owner, Chevy has a shortage of cylinder heads, while Ford has a shortage of engine blocks. ((IMHO thats good news for us spectators who enjoy the difference now!))

During the Charlotte race festivities, Bill Elliott had to participate in a number of photo shoots with no other than the Caped Crusader himself, Batman. At one point, Elliott turned to Batman and grabbed him by the neck. Unknown whether it was out a loss of patience or simply just for humor, but it was captured by a a cameraman and published in the June 12, 1995 edition of AutoWeek magazine.

Save Mart Supermarkets, a California based grocery store chain, has renewed their sponsorship of the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Sears Point for two more years.

Bud Moore has received Ford's Special Achievement Award for his years of success in racing Ford products in both SCCA Trans-Am and NASCAR Winston Cup competition.

Miller Motorsports Cruise ------------------ Norwegian Cruise Lines is offering a 7 day cruise with an Auto Racing theme. Major drivers like Ernie Irvan, Buddy Baker, Al Unser, John Andretti and Roberto Guerrro have sailed in the past and the same caliber will sail this year. Some of the high points: Motor Sports interviews and presentation sessions with noted drivers and announcers. Onboard Race Cars for viewing. On-deck radio controlled car qualifying heats and championship races. Photograph sessions and sports trivia contest with the drivers. The Norway will sail for 7 days and visit the following islands: St Maarten St.John St. Thomas Great Stirrup Cay. Cost is$1899 per person plus port charges, tax and insurance if needed. Contact: Meredith Travel Inc., 6404 Carmel Rd. Suite 201, Charlotte, N.C. 28226. Phone: (704) 541-8760 Fax: (704) 543-4030

NASCAR All- Pro Series Mishap ---------------------- Mike Cope was bumped at the start of the race, and later retaliated by smashing into the other driver's car on a restart. In the process, he also took out one of the series' top drivers, Jody Ridley.

Rumors, Rumors and more Rumors ------------------------ Rumors about Dale Jarrett and the #28 Robert Yates Racing team have persisted for weeks now. Earlier there was talk that Jarrett was very upset over the fact that Stricklin was hired to "shake down" the handling setup on the #28 car without his knowledge. The latest twist has Morgan Shepard and Dale Jarrett swapping rides at the end of the year. ((Hard to believe given Morgan's announcement last year in which he stated that the multi-year contract would take him to "retirement" with the Woods Brothers.))

Rumors about Ernie Irvan have also persisted for weeks now. The latest twist has Ernie starting his own Winston Cup team next year with the #88 and Pepsi as the primary sponsor. This is based on speculation around Ernie's supertruck team's impending sponsorship from Pepsi. ((This one is also hard to swallow, given RYR's investment in Ernie, and the fact that Yates still employs Irvan as a consultant.))

The rumor mill has been grinding overtime now that Kenny Bernstein has announced that the #26 team is for sale. One rumor has Hut Stricklin buying the team, possibly using his BGN team as leverage, to which he has said that the idea is not out of the question. Another has Hendrick buying the team to replace the Kenny Schrader/Budweiser team, which Kenny has been rumored to having an interest taking over as owner/driver at the end of this year. ((Its a coin toss as to which one is more plausible at this point.))

And then there's the Pontiac shuffle. Seems that the Pontiac crowd is very anxious to see some of the Ford guys jump ship. Along with the past rumors of Rusty and Roush running the the new Grand Prix body-style next year, the latest thread has the Rick Mast/Skoal team on the verge of signing a contract and possibly Ricky Rudd deep in thought over signing a contract.

Happy Motoring :-) =Ken=

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Kenny Bernstein , Sterling Marlin , Hut Stricklin , Ted Musgrave , Rick Mast , Robert Yates , Buddy Baker , Mark Martin , Al Unser
Teams Yates Racing