Rockingham Saturday Notes

Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 Saturday notebook By Shawn A. Akers ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 20, 1999) Some notes and quotes Saturday surrounding Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 at North Carolina Speedway: Drivers will have a ...

Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 Saturday notebook By Shawn A. Akers

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 20, 1999) Some notes and quotes Saturday surrounding Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 at North Carolina Speedway:

Drivers will have a "popping good time" this fall at Rockingham.

General Mills and North Carolina Speedway have signed a multi-year title sponsorship agreement for the Oct. 23-24 NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division weekend, officials announced Saturday in the infield media center.

The NASCAR Busch Series event will be held Oct. 23, followed by the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event, scheduled for Oct. 24.

"North Carolina Speedway is proud to align itself with a successful company like General Mills," said Jo DeWitt Wilson, President and CEO of North Carolina Speedway. Our new partnership and the enthusiasm of both companies to promote NASCAR racing will provide tremendous marketing opportunities as well as a commitment to providing the most exciting event weekend for our guests."

Tickets for the NASCAR Busch Series race and the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 will go on sale May 17, and may be purchased by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office at (910) 582-2861.

Bill Elliott certainly had his struggles during the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, but he still managed some success at Rockingham. The driver of the No. 94 McDonald's Ford finished sixth in the February event at "The Rock" last season, and came back with a 12th-place run in the October ACDelco 400. The 9.0 average finish was his best at any track in '98.

Billy Standridge drove the No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet during Saturday morning's NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice session, and then attempted to qualify for the car for Sunday's Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400. Standridge replaced rookie Dan Pardus, who has less experience at North Carolina Speedway.

Standridge, however, wasn't quick enough to get into the field, turning a lap at 152.043 mph, good enough for only 46th-fastest out of 47 cars.

Next Saturday will be a special day for "Alabama Gang" member Donnie Allison. The brother of NMPA Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, who works for Scott Barbour and SBIII Motorsports NASCAR Winston Cup team, will be inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame on Feb. 27 at the Birmingham Civic Center in Birmingham, Ala.

Ernie Irvan, driver of the No. 36 M&M's Pontiac, will be signing copies of his new book, "Ernie Irvan, the NASCAR Driver's Story of Tragedy and Triumph, No Fear," on Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Thursday, Feb. 25, in Greensboro, N.C.

Irvan will sign at the Wal-Mart on Hanes Mall Boulevard in Winston-Salem from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Borders on High Point Road in Greensboro from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes NHL hockey team, which will be moving to its new home in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area for the 1999-2000 season, unveiled the second in a series of television commercials, starring hockey fan and spokesperson Richard Petty, Saturday in the North Carolina Speedway infield media center.

The newest commercial builds on the humorous antics of a customized Zamboni machine with the familiar No. 43 STP car paint scheme used in the first Petty ads. This time, the King of NASCAR offers to give Hurricanes star Keith Primeau a ride to the team's new arena in Raleigh rather than taking the team bus.

"I've had fun making these commercials," Petty said. "I think once people get a chance to go to a game, they'll be hooked. "There's a lot in common with racing - it's fast, high energy with plenty of action and it's family-friendly."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Ernie Irvan , Richard Petty , Bobby Allison , Donnie Allison