Tuesday early news and notes 97-07-08

NASCARFans E-Mail List Thanks to everyone for writing with possible reasons I saw a DW hauler in Northern Kentucky. I appreciate all the feedback and information. The concensus seems to be that DW was headed to Indy for testing ...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

Thanks to everyone for writing with possible reasons I saw a DW hauler in Northern Kentucky. I appreciate all the feedback and information.

The concensus seems to be that DW was headed to Indy for testing their Brickyard car(s). Makes sense to me, I'm sorry I didn't think of that before.

Angie reports: I work for the American Red Cross in Charlotte, NC and we did a blood drive in Statesville a couple of weeks ago. A woman that worked on Jeremy Mayfield's team told me that there were 2 guys on Jeremy's team that came up as matches for a bone marrow transplant for Rick (Hendrick). (Note from Mike: This hasn't been confirmed as yet, but won't it be great if it's true?) (Thanks, Angie!)

>From the Bill Davis Racing web site (www.billdavisracing.com):

Ward is OK and at home!! Ward is pretty "beat up". He has no concussion but has a black eye, a knot on his left forehead and bruises from his seat restraints. He is very sore from his ordeal. WARD WILL RACE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Bill Davis and Jeff Burton went from the infield care center to the Halifax Memorial Hospital in the ambulance with Ward and spent the night. Gail Davis drove Jeff's wife and Tabitha's parents over to the hospital. Ward was released to come home today (Sunday). Mark and Arlene Martin came to the hospital as did the executives from MBNA. Mark feels responsible for hitting Ward but most observers believe Mark was pushed into Ward by Dick Trickle. Mark Martin flew Ward and Bill home in his plane today. Jack Roush sent an extra plane back for Jeff Burton.

Thanks to Alex Arrants for reminding me of the Bill Davis web site! They even have a link to NASCARFans!

Portions of an Interview with Hut Stricklin (from GVA)

''I've been really fortunate to have the longevity I've had in this sport but yet not won a race,'' Stricklin said last week as he relaxed outside his team hauler before a practice run for his No. 8 Ford. ''This sport's been good to me.'' And the win-lacking resume? Stricklin points to history. ''You look at Dale Jarrett, you look at Bill Elliott,'' he said. ''It took those guys a lot of years before they could actually get to where they could win a Winston Cup race.'' Jarrett, in fact, went through seven seasons and 10 owners before getting his first win. He now has 10 wins, including two this season. Elliott? The 1988 Winston Cup champion was winless in his first seven seasons. ''All the people in the garage knew those guys had talent,'' Stricklin said, ''but they never got a chance to show it until they got with the right organization and everything.'' That certainly has been a problem for the 35-year-old Stricklin, who has driven for 11 different owners. Included among them is Richmond's Junie Donlavey, for whom Stricklin worked four races in 1992. ''I've moved around a good bit,'' Stricklin said through a soft, slightly pained chuckle. ''Some of it's been my own making, and some of it hasn't. I'd like to finally get somewhere and stay there and build us a winning deal.'' He believes he has it now, with his association with the Stavola brothers. He's in his second season with Billy and Mickey, and for the first time in his career has a bit of a free hand. In short, he's able to decide who works on his team, who works at the race shop. Finally, he has a firm sense of stability. ''That's definitely what we're trying to build here,'' Stricklin said. ''We're building us a good-sized organization that I can be with a long time.''

Richard Petty on Jeff Gordon's Breaking His 13 Wins in a Season Record

"He impresses me somewhat in that deal," Petty said while escaping the torrid heat here inside the luxurious confines of his motorcoach. "But you've got to figure, you've taken a 25-year-old body, and put 15 years of experience in it. When I was 25 years old I had four years of experience in it. I went out in '64 and won 14 races, and that was unheard of because I was only three years into any kind of competition, and running against the big boys. I'm talking about the experience he has behind him (USAC, go-karts, etc.). It's not all Winston Cup, but it's precluding to that, whereas I didn't have any experience. Most of the people who get the opportunity Gordon has started driving when they were 18 or 20. Then they've got to go through all those little deals, and then by the time they're 30 or 35 they get to where he is now with the experience. He started so young. I don't know if he will beat the record (for wins in a season). He'll run two more races, but 14 out of 32 will be the same thing as 13 out of 30." (iRace/JournalNow)

"We had a real good car at the end," Morgan Shepherd said during a post-race interview after the Pepsi 400. "I think we could have gotten into the top 10 if we could have stayed out of trouble. We're getting there. We showed them something today." (NASCAR Online)

Kyle Petty on Pepsi 400 (NASCAR Online)

I'm real happy with Our run. I'm going to give this to Bobby Hamilton and God. I've been praying all week because this thing has driven so bad. We couldn't get qualified, so we never really had much time to work on our race stuff. Bobby and their guys felt like they were pretty good, so we put everything that was under the 43 car (Hamilton's STP Pontiac, owned by Petty Enterprises) under this one. We started off loose, but Bobby Kennedy and our guys kept adjusting and adjusting air pressure and wedge, and it kept getting better and better. That allowed us to at least run with them. We had three of the most incredible pit stops I've ever had. One we came in running 17th or 18th and we came out running right behind the leader and passed him and led a lap, so that was good. It's been a long time since we've led a lap. We had a really good day to come from that far back and finish decent. With a lot of prayers, I avoided it (last lap accident). I didn't get a great start, but I got a great start compared to the 99 (Jeff Burton) behind me, so I wasn't really concerned about him. Instantly they went about three- or four-wide, and somebody ran the 22 off in the grass going down the backstretch. Some car was up high and Mark Martin was between him and Ward, and Mark just got sandwiched. You could say it was somebody's fault, but I'm not going to attribute it to any driver."

"I drove into Victory Lane a lot of times, but I walked in there today," Cale Yarborough said Saturday at the Pepsi 400, where Andretti dominated most of the race in his Ford Thunderbird, then won a one-lap sprint to the finish. "And I was just as happy walking in there as I was when I was driving in there." (SpeedNet)

Mike Irwin (mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Jeremy Mayfield , Dick Trickle , Kyle Petty , Hut Stricklin , Richard Petty , Morgan Shepherd , Jack Roush , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin , Bobby Kennedy
Teams Bill Davis Racing