Notes 96-01-05

== Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-01-05 == --------------------------------- CITGO's "Secret Weapon" -------------------------------- The ...

== Ken's NASCAR Notebook 96-01-05 == --------------------------------- CITGO's "Secret Weapon" -------------------------------- The #21 CITGO/Wood Brothers Ford finished the 1995 season with a little help from the man known simply as "007." CITGO Petroleum, sponsor of the #21 Wood Brothers Ford, promoted the latest James Bond release, GoldenEye, with the CITGO GoldenEye Sweepstakes. The #21 CITGO/Wood Brothers Ford took on a very different look for the NAPA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The familiar red and orange stripes that have highlighted the CITGO Ford over the last four years were replaced with black, silver and gold bands. The GoldenEye and 007 logos appeared on the rear quarter panels. The sweepstakes awards a trip for two to the Plantation Inn Resort on the island of Jamaica. Jamaica is the former home of Bond author, Ian Fleming, and where many of the James Bond stories were created. You may enter the CITGO GoldenEye sweepstakes at any one of the participating CITGO stations throughout the country. CITGO currently has over 13,000 outlets nationwide.

----------------------------------- Jr. Johnson leaves NASCAR ----------------------------------- An article in the Charlotte Observer reported that Junior Johnson is leaving auto racing and has sold his two racing teams. Johnson is said to have sold the #11 team to Brett Bodine and the #27 team to Arkansas lawyer David Blair. The Observer quoted a price of $3 to $5 million for the #11 car purchased by Bodine. Johnson's race shop was sold to Bodine. The Greenville, S.C. News reports that Bodine has assumed "an equity position" in the WC team. Johnson's Wilkes County shops were included in the sale to Bodine, who will be the team's driver. Bodine plans to move the shop to nearby Mooresville, according to the Observer. The report also said that Bodine would have his brother-in-law, Donnie Richeson, as crew chief and Mike Smith will build the engines. Lowes will be the sponsore, according to the News article. The #27 car was reportedly sold to Bob Brooks of the Hooters chain, and Brooks then immediately sold the team to Blair. Blair and Elton Sawyer reportedly are friends and Sawyer will continue as the #27 car's driver.

------------------------------------------ ISC buys into Penske's Speedway ----------------------- ------------------ It was reported today in the Daytona Beach News-Journal that International Speedway Corporation is purchasing a minority stake in Penske Speedway, Inc. ISC is the owner of the Daytona International Speedway and four other tracks, while Penske Speedway operates Michigan International and Nazareth , as well as building the new California Speedway in Fontana, CA. The article states that the deal is part of an 8 year effort by ISC to expand to the west coast. ISC is a publicly traded company which is controlled by the France family of NASCAR. Kaiser Ventures of Ontario Calif. provided the 475 acre site for the new track in return for a 15% stake in the facility, ISC will own 17% of the facility in return for their $14 million investment. Penske will control the remaining 68% and be the facility's operator. The track will be used for stock car and Indy-type races.

------------------------------- Ray Evernham Promoted ------------------------------ Hendrick Motorsports announced that Ray Evernham, Jeff Gordon's crew chief, would assume the role of team manager for Ken Schraders's team in 1996. He will continue his position as crew chief and team manager for the #24 team. Evernham said that his 1996 goals for the #24 team included (1) improving the handling performance of the cars; (2) improving the team's short track performance; (3) regaining the pit crew championship; and (4) defending the championship.

--------------------------------------------------- Quality Care to move to Jarrett's #88 Ford --------------------------------------------------- Ford Quality Care and Ford Credit will sponsor a Ford Thunderbird for Robert Yates Racing (RYR) beginning with the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Yates' two teams, the number 28 Thunderbird driven by Ernie Irvan and sponsored by Texaco-Havoline, and the number 88 team will be prepared out of the Robert Yates Racing shop in Charlotte. The Charlotte facility has a 'state of the art' engine shop with five dynamometers where the Yates team produces cylinder heads and does CNC (computer numerical control) machine work for quite a few of the Ford teams. Yates' cylinder head design is the NASCAR standard for Ford Winston Cup engines.

------------------------------------------------------- Remington becomes NASCAR sponsor in '96 ------------------------------------------------------- Remington Arms Company, Inc., announced at a press conference held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway that it entered into an agreement with Butch Mock Motorsports to be the primary sponsor of the #75 car in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season for 1996. Remington, America's oldest gunmaker, also announced that the #75 Ford Thunderbird will be driven by veteran Morgan Shepherd. Factory Stores of America, primary sponsor for the #75 Butch Mock Motorsports Ford for the past three years, has agreed to take a role as an associate sponsor on the car for the 1996 Winston Cup season.

------------------------------------------------------ Burger King sponsors Joe Nemechek again ------------------------------------------------------ Burger King has renewed its sponsorship agreement with Joe Nemechek and NEMCO Motorsports for the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Burger King is going to step up its NASCAR involvement next year by increasing the resources it provides Nemechek and the team. Nemechek will be completing in his first year as owner and driver of a NASCAR Winston Cup team.

------------------------------ Kyle Petty Comments... ------------------------------ As a periodic writer for AutoWeek Magazine, Kyle Petty's recent column (AW 11/20/95) called Taking Stock reflects on the 1995 Wintson Cup season. He writes about his feelings on Gordon and Earnhardt, about the way in which each model faired during the year, and about the 1996 season in a Pontiac. He ends his colum by saying: "I'll conclude with this: If I don't do better next year, I won' be back in '97. I'll find another job. I hear that Mark (Martin) is looking for a driver for his motorbus. Maybe Gordon is too."

--------------------------------------------- Bobby Allison May Leave Alabama --------------------------------------------- Bobby Allison, the patriarch of racing's Alabama Gang, might leave his hometown and move to North Carolina to be nearer his team. Allison said that it has become too expensive to live in suburban Birmingham while trying to run a Winston Cup operation hundreds of miles away. Bobby Allison Motorsports is based in Charlotte, N.C., the heart of the NASCAR community. Allison has owned a condominium in Charlotte for about a decade, said Tom Kincaid, a brother-in-law and general manager of Bobby Allison Motorports. None of Allison's racing operations remain in Hueytown, Alabama, other than his personal public relations office.

---------------------------------------------------- Elliott Moves More of His Operation to NC ---------------------------------------------------- Bill Elliott, seeking to streamline his racing operation, will move a large portion of it to Hickory, N.C., where crew chief Mike Beam will be in complete charge of getting the car ready each week. However, Elliott also said that Elliott/Hardy Racing will continue to be based in Dawsonville, GA. Some cars will be finished there and both the research and development program and Ernie Elliott's engine program will remain. Ernie Elliott's engines will be flown to the Hickory shop when they are ready to be installed in the race cars. He will also continue to oversee the engines at the track. Bill Elliott and Beam said the idea is to put consistency back into the team for the championship run. At some point, they would like to build all of their cars. Ronnie Hopkins of Simpsonville, S.C., currently builds cars for Elliott . Beam, who has added three crewmen from the defunct Junior Johnson team, sees the crew operation as less fragmented, especially when it comes to efficiency on Sunday. "We needed to get our pit crew in one shop," said Beam, who resigned from the Johnson team to join Elliott less than halfway through last season. "We'd have a tire changer and a jackman up here and a tire changer down in Dawsonville. Now, we're utilizing everyone in this shop. We won't need to use Dawsonville personnel. Our main deal right now is to get the Winston Cup program ready for 1996," Elliott said.

-------------------------------------------------------- North Wilkesboro to Lose Winston Cup Race? -------------------------------------------------------- Speedway Motorsports, Inc announced that half of the North Wilkesboro Speedway was purchased by the owner of the New Hampshire International Speedway. Details of the sale were not released. Speedway Motorsports, Inc owns the other half of the facility. Bob Bahre, owner of the New Hampshire track, purchased half of the North Wilkesboro track from the estate of Enoch Staley. Staley, who founded the speedway in 1946, died in May, 1995. In June, 1995, Speedway purchased its 50 percent share of the North Wilkesboro Speedway and had been negotiating to buy the remaining 50 percent. . NASCAR Winston Cup races at North Wilkesboro are currently scheduled for April 14 and Sept. 29. News reports and rumors persist that Bahre is trying to move one of the N. Wilkeboro races (supposedly the September race) to his other track in Loudon, NH. Other reports also have Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc., trying to move the other N. Wilkesboro race to his new track being built in Texas.

------------------------------------------- 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: (ext - slow updates) (internal only)

------------------------------------ Ken has a new email address ------------------------------------ I've just joined the ranks of MS Mail users here at Xerox, and now 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 []. However, please use the new address for all correspondance from this point on, to ensure I get your message.

Happy Motoring :-) =Ken=

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brett Bodine , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Joe Nemechek , Morgan Shepherd , Ray Evernham , Junior Johnson , Bobby Allison , Robert Yates , Mike Smit
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Yates Racing , NEMCO Motorsports