Teams Prepare for Japan

Newsgroups: Organization: MNI - Motorsport News International Approved: From: Followup-To: Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 23:58:15 -0400 (EDT) Teams prepare to...

Newsgroups: Organization: MNI - Motorsport News International Approved: From: Followup-To: Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 23:58:15 -0400 (EDT)

   Teams prepare to meet schedule for Japan
   DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 16, 1998)

The road to winning the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi -- Coca-Cola 500, to be held in Motegi, Japan in many ways presents the same challenges as any NASCAR race. The distance to Twin Ring Motegi, however, is 5,500 miles farther than any other NASCAR race, and 16 times the distance teams travel to the Daytona 500.

A NASCAR race team typically loads its transporter the week of the race and drives to the track. Not so for the trip to the Pacific Rim. Overseas shipping containers will be delivered to the teams' shops as early as Monday, Sept. 21, two months before the race. Once loaded, each overseas shipping container will weigh 20 tons.

"The whole process of transporting the race car and parts to Motegi takes about five weeks," said Larry McReynolds, crew chief for the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet driven by defending race winner Mike Skinner. "Lakey Cornelius (Richard Childress Racing's head of inventory) and his guys have to have everything ready by Oct. 9. Then after the race it's not until Christmas before everything returns back to the shop."

The containers are scheduled to be picked up from teams based on the East Coast on Friday, Oct. 9. They then will be trucked to a local railroad station and taken by train to the Port of Los Angeles in California where the cars and equipment will begin the overseas part of their journey. Fully loaded, the ship can hold more than 5,300 of the overseas containers.

After crossing the Pacific Ocean at a blistering 22 knots, the precious cargo will enter Japan at the Port of Tokyo. In past years the ships entered the Port of Nagoya, which is approximately 150 miles south of Tokyo.

The containers will be trucked to Twin Ring Motegi under Japanese customs supervision and cleared through customs at Twin Ring Motegi.

"RCR (Richard Childress Racing) has learned how to ship supplies over to Japan the last two years our two teams competed in the NASCAR Thunder Special races," said McReynolds. "Still, it is a heavy strain not to forget anything. It's not like being on the West Coast where if you forget some type of part you can have it airmailed to you the next day."

A listing of the cargo schedule to the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi -- Coca-Cola 500 follows: Date Event Sept. 21 Ocean containers are available to teams Oct. 9 Final pick-up of loaded containers in Southeastern U.S. Oct. 17 Containers arrive at Port of Los Angeles Oct. 24 Containers scheduled to depart for Port of Tokyo, Japan Nov. 5 Ship is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Tokyo Nov. 6 Containers are unloaded from ship Nov. 9-13 Containers transported to Twin Ring Motegi Nov. 9-13 Containers scheduled to arrive at Twin Ring Motegi Nov. 19 NASCAR teams arrive at Twin Ring Motegi Nov. 20 NASCAR teams unload containers to prepare for race Nov. 22 NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi -- Coca-Cola 500 Nov. 23 Pick-up loaded containers for return to United States Dec. 22 Delivery of containers to Southeastern U.S. NASCAR teams The NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi Coca-Cola 500 is the third NASCAR demonstration race in Japan. The event will be comprised of 500 kilometers (207 laps, 311 miles) and competitors from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Winston West Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well as four Japanese drivers. The first two years the race was held at Suzuka Circuitland's 1.4-mile road course. This year the race will be held at the new Twin Ring Motegi 1.549-mile superspeedway, the first superspeedway built in the Pacific Rim. TBS Superstation will continue to broadcast the race live in the United States for the third consecutive year. Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Richard Childress Racing