Thursday news, rumors

NASCARFans E-Mail List xy Rich Bickle will run the DW owned ...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

xy Rich Bickle will run the DW owned #27 at Indy, possibility of Rockingham, Richmond,and Atlanta per NASCAR Online chat and Jayski.

IMSG(International Motor Sports Group) CEO Andy Evans will start the US Road Racing Stock Car Championship series in 1998 with 10-12 races. He says a front running team should be able to run on a budget of $500,000 or less(per RPM2Nite and Jayski).

Per GoRacing page and Jayski: Brett Bodine is in financial trouble. Apparently Close Call is not paying all of the bills.

Jayski heard that a Ford Taurus (1/3 or 1/2 scale) was to undergo testing in the Wales (UK) wind tunnel that Penske uses for his Indy car stuff and that NASCAR and Ford are to announce the Taurus as the Ford 1998 entry at Daytona this weekend.

An article in JournalNow states that a lot of the Ford teams think Jeff Gordon and Ray Everham are benefiting from some sort of "computer wizardry". Are super-computer programs being used to help Gordon win? Robin Pemberton, the crew chief for Rusty Wallace and the Roger Penske team, has access to some of the top technology in the sport. ''I think the (computer) engineering right now is being used by some teams just to improve the consistency,'' Pemberton said. "No kidding!", say the other Ford teams, looking at Gordon's seven wins.

Another happy birthday wish to Richard Petty, who turned 60 yesterday. I didn't get to see but the last 5 min. of the special on TNN, but that part was good.

In 38 years of twice-a-year racing at Daytona, prior to 1997, the same driver has won both the Daytona 500 and the Pepsi 400 in a given year only four times. The last such sweep was by Bobby Allison in 1982. Others who have managed the feat include Fireball Roberts in 1962, Cale Yarborough in 1968 and LeeRoy Yarbrough in 1969.

Robby Gordon says he still has the desire to do well in NASCAR, even if he and car owner Felix Sabates don't agree on everything. Gordon, in his first year of Winston Cup racing, and Sabates squabbled over the driver's desire to continue participating in Indy-car racing on at least a part-time basis. Part of Gordon's contract with Sabco Racing was that Sabates would buy equipment and field a car for Gordon in the Indianapolis 500 in each of the three years of the agreement. The Charlotte businessman did that this year, spending, by his own estimate, more than $2 million to put Gordon in the race in May. Sabates has called for Gordon, who still has two more years on his current contract, to concentrate on his Winston Cup ride or look elsewhere for work. The Cuban-born owner says he wants no part of Indy any more.

Going into this week's race at Daytona International Speedway, eight drivers had won the Pepsi 400 in the last 10 years. Of those, only Dale Earnhardt and Jimmy Spencer have not won the Daytona 500 during the same period. Of the seven active drivers who have won the July event at Daytona, only Earnhardt and Bill Elliott have won it more than once.

>From an informal poll on ESPN SportsZone:

With half the racing season remaining, which driver is most likely to catch Jeff Gordon for the Winston Cup points title:

37.4% - Mark Martin 29.3% - Terry Labonte 17.6% - Dale Jarrett 13.3% - Dale Earnhardt (sorry, Rob and Joe) 2.2% - Jeff Burton

Mike Irwin ( NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rich Bickle , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Jimmy Spencer , Robby Gordon , Richard Petty , Bobby Allison , Roger Penske , Andy Evans , Felix Sabates , Mark Martin