Suzuka Thunder Special 100 announced

NASCAR News Bulletin Daytona Beach Florida, March 10, 1995 20 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Among the list of 30 extended invitations to participate in the "NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100"...

NASCAR News Bulletin

Daytona Beach Florida, March 10, 1995

20 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Among the list of 30 extended invitations to participate in the "NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100" in Japan

Officials from the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and Suzuka Circuitland Company announced today that 30 drivers, including 20 from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, have been extended invitations to participate in the November 24th "NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100" demonstration race at the Suzuka Circuitland road course in Suzuka City, Japan.

"The NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100 event will be a historical milestone in NASCAR history as American NASCAR stock cars, and the finest NASCAR drivers, compete in Japan for the first time," said Bill France, president of NASCAR.

"We are pleased to extend invitations to such a prominent group of NASCAR drivers," said Takashi Matsuda, president of Suzuka Circuitland Company. "The event has spawned considerable interest from NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers, teams, sponsors and the manufacturers."

The list of NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers include six former series champions -- Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Darrell Waltrip -- as well as Bobby Hamilton, the driver of the No. 43 STP Pontiac owned by Richard Petty, the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion. Drivers from the NASCAR Winston West Series, NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series round out the field.

"It has always been important that through this project, we at NASCAR expose the top drivers not only from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, but all of our top racing divisions," said France.

THE LIST OF DRIVERS EXTENDED INVITATIONS FOLLOWS:

   Driver                   NASCAR Racing Division
   
   Johnny Benson       NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Rick Carelli        NASCAR Winston West/NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
   Ricky Craven        NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Wally Dallenbach    NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Dale Earnhardt      NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Bill Elliott        NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Scott Gaylord       NASCAR Winston West Series
   Butch Gilliland     NASCAR Winston West Series
   Jeff Gordon         NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   David Green         NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division
   Steve Grissom       NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Bobby Hamilton      NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Lance Hooper        NASCAR Winston West Series
   Ron Hornaday, Jr.   NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
   Ernie Irvan         NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Dale Jarrett        NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Jason Keller        NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division
   Terry Labonte       NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Sterling Marlin     NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Mark Martin         NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Hershel McGriff     NASCAR Winston West Series
   Dan Obrist          NASCAR Winston West Series
   Kyle Petty          NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Steve Portenga      NASCAR Winston West/NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
   Ricky Rudd          NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Ken Schrader        NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Mike Skinner        NASCAR Craftsman Truck/NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Rusty Wallace       NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Darrell Waltrip     NASCAR Winston Cup Series
   Michael Waltrip     NASCAR Winston Cup Series

The NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100 is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. local Japan time (Suzuka City, Japan is 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time) on Sunday, November 24. The planned schedule for the event includes the garage opening on November 21 at 8:00 a.m., tentatively, teams will take to the track for their initial practice on November 22 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Qualifying for the event is tentatively scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. on November 23. The qualifying format will consist of three laps with a two tire pit stop mandatory in the second lap.

The NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100 race is scheduled to be a 100 lap event, broken in to two segments. After the completion of the first 50 laps the field will be inverted for the final 50. Rules for the event will be based primarily on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Suzuka Circuit is a 3.6 mile road course. The NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100 event will take place on the main east course (1.4 miles), which is visible in its entirety from the main grandstands.

In preparation for the NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special 100 the Richard Childress Racing Team and seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Dale Earnhardt will be at Suzuka Circuitland on April 3-4 for a Goodyear tire testing session. Joining Earnhardt will be Rusty Wallace and the Penske South Team who will make demonstration runs around the track for media and other invited special guests.

Suzuka Circuitland Company is the premier motorsports company in Japan and owns the world famous Suzuka Circuit located 250 miles southwest of Tokyo.

NASCAR announced on November 30 an exclusive agreement with Suzuka Circuitland Company to introduce NASCAR-style racing to Japan. A series of three NASCAR demonstration races will take place over a three-year period.

Built in 1962, Suzuka Circuitland was the first genuine race course built in Japan. Not only a track, the 550-acre resort boasts world-class accommodations (500 room hotel), fine restaurants, shopping and an amusement park. The facility holds countless motorsports events including a number of world championships, Formula One Japan Grand Prix (since 1987) and motorcycles Suzuka 8-Hour Endurance Road Race. The Suzuka Circuitland Company's business includes promoting race events in Japan, resorts, travel and other entertainment complexes in Japan.

After having undergone major modifications, the Suzuka Circuitland track today runs 5,865 meters (3.65 miles) in length, 9.2-12 meters (30-39 feet) in width, with reserved seating and additional space to accommodate approximately 160,000 spectators.

Tickets for the event will be available on June 1st. For further information contact: Technical Tours America, Domestic Travel Branch, Suzuka Circuit Tour Tickets, telephone: 213/896-0305, fax: 213/896-0077.

Contact: NASCAR Public Relations - 904/947-3834

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Wally Dallenbach , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Sterling Marlin , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ricky Craven , David Green , Lance Hooper , Richard Petty , Rick Carelli , Steve Grissom , Steve Portenga , Scott Gaylord , Hershel McGriff , Mark Martin