Talladega Sunday notes

Winston 500 Sunday Notebook By Dave Rodman TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 11, 1998) Notes and quotes on Sunday at the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway: The Winston 500 was barely over and NASCAR Winston Cup Series point leader Jeff ...

Winston 500 Sunday Notebook By Dave Rodman

TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 11, 1998) Notes and quotes on Sunday at the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:

The Winston 500 was barely over and NASCAR Winston Cup Series point leader Jeff Gordon was already looking ahead to next Saturday's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. It's a facility he's won on in both February and July, and he's eagerly anticipating running the Pepsi 400 in October.

"Daytona is going to be a night race and it's a much tighter race track," he said. "The neat thing about running at night is it'll be a lot cooler and the sun won't be out and the track shouldn't get as slick as it normally does in July in the daytime. I think you're going to see better racing and more maneuverability. I think you're going to see cars handling better. You're going to see more of a race like you see in February. Normally you see a February Daytona 500 race and then a totally opposite July race. This time the race is going to be under the lights, but it's going to be very similar to the February race."

At a track known for its breathtaking speeds, Elizabeth Naylor of Boaz, Ala., went from zero to one million -- dollar, that is -- in about 10 seconds Sunday afternoon when Jeff Gordon initiated a procedure that caused a game piece to carom its way through a series of pegs and come to rest in a bin containing her name.

"I'm so excited -- I just can't believe we won a million dollars," said Naylor, a 27-year-old who picked up her registration form for the contest at a local Texaco convenience store in Boaz. "Winston's done a lot for racing and now it's done a lot for me. I told myself before my name was announced that if we won, great, but I was ready to accept it if we didn't. I still can't believe we won."

Drivers, and fans, will have another chance to win "millions" from R.J. Reynolds next season. Officials expect to announce the details of the program on Friday in conjunction with the Pepsi 400.

The 1999 season-opening Daytona 500 will be the next opportunity for drivers to claim a million dollar bonus payoff, and Winston officials said Dale Jarrett, Gordon, Terry Labonte, Jimmy Spencer and Jeremy Mayfield -- the top-five in the Winston 500 -- would be eligible for the program at Daytona next February.

Mark Martin was philosophical, as usual, about leaving Talladega 288 points behind Jeff Gordon in the standings, after Martin was involved in a multi-car accident.

The wreck also claimed his Roush Racing teammates Johnny Benson and Kevin Lepage. Martin ended up 34th after rejoining the event.

"I don't really know what happened to start it -- somebody got together up in front of us and the wreck was on. That's the frustrating thing about racing here. You can't use your skill and experience to get yourself out of harm's way. You're three- and four-wide the whole day and you never get an opportunity to stretch it out. On the one hand, I'm relieve to walk out of here, but I'm disappointed because we had an opportunity to do a lot better than this and to do a lot more."

A series of "fan forums" are scheduled at DAYTONA USA -- "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction" -- this week in conjunction with Saturday's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The informal question-and-answer sessions are open to the public and will be held in the Pepsi Theater at DAYTONA USA.

Tentatively scheduled to appear on Thursday are Jeff Green (10 a.m.), John Andretti and Richard Petty (12 noon), Joe Nemechek (1 p.m.) and Brett Bodine (2 p.m. Practice for the Pepsi 400 opens at 3 p.m. on the 2.5-mile speedway.

NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division veteran Mark Green and his brothers, David and Jeff, are the focus of a feature that will air on TNN's weekly Inside NASCAR motorsports magazine show next Saturday and Sunday.

The feature was filmed in the Greens' hometown of Owensboro, Ky., on Oct. 5 and follows the brothers as they take a trip down "memory lane." The journey took them to many Owensboro sites including Apollo High School, Moonlite Bar-B-Q , Tomco Concrete Products and Kentucky Motor Speedway.

"Most of the time, fans don't get a chance to see the personal side of drivers," said Mark Green, driver of the No. 37 Timber Wolf Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series. "This piece show us away from the track and in Owensboro, where we all grew up. We visited a bunch of places which are meaningful to all three of us."

Mark still resides in Owensboro while David, driver of the No. 36 Stanley Pontiac in the NASCAR Busch Series, and Jeff, driver of the No. 46 Money Store Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, both live in North Carolina.

The Inside NASCAR episode featuring the Green brothers will air on Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT and Sunday at 10 a.m. EDT.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green , Kevin Lepage , Johnny Benson , Mark Green , Richard Petty , Mark Martin