Wednesday news 97-08-27

NASCARFans E-Mail List "I'm making progress on my contract for next year and I should be able to let everyone know something maybe even as early as the end of this week"(Ernie Irvan on RevSpeedWay/Jayski) Well, how about letting us know ...

NASCARFans E-Mail List

"I'm making progress on my contract for next year and I should be able to let everyone know something maybe even as early as the end of this week"(Ernie Irvan on RevSpeedWay/Jayski)

Well, how about letting us know today??????????? Okay!

Ernie Irvan will replace Derrike Cope as the driver for Jay Frye and Ryan Pemberton, ending weeks of speculation about Irvan's future in NASCAR after Robert Yates decided not to retain him. Irvan, according to General Motors executives, signed a two-year contract Monday with the Mars candy-backed Winston Cup team owned by Nelson Bowers and run by Frye and Pemberton. According to NASCAR sources, Travis Carter was willing to offer Irvan only a one-year contract, one reason Irvan decided to move to the GM-Pontiac camp after nearly five years with Ford. (Mike Mulhern, JournalNow)

One of the surprises in Saturday night's Goody's 500 in Bristol, Tenn., was Steve Grissom, who charged from 35th to finish fifth, his strongest bid for his first Winston Cup win. ''Steve Grissom can win a race,'' Mike Hill, the team manager, said. ''We knew going in that we had a good chance to win that race, as well as we ran there in the spring. We started ninth in the spring, and if we'd have gotten to start ninth this time, we'd have been in great shape. But we had a little trouble qualifying and had to start 35th, and we had to use up a lot of our stuff getting up through traffic. ''There toward the end I was hammering on Steve that he could win: 'Don't think you have to sit back there and run behind Mark Martin and those guys. You can win this race.' We've got a good race team and we can win races.'' (Mike Mulhern, JournalNow)

During an interview on RPM2Nite Dale Jarrett had on a Nike hat, no idea what this means and if they are a sponsor of his or not, but I hear it meant nothing (Jayski)

I hear the second Bill Davis team will be in the BGN for 1998, and possibly move up to WC in 1999. I also hear from a very good source that Gil Martin is considering the job and has other offers he is considering (Jayski)

I hear that Roush will have at least 4 Ford WC teams in 1998 and field a Pontiac BGN team for Ted Musgrave but no idea what make the #9 and #60 BGN cars will be (Jayski)

Per NASCAR Online chat with Jeremy Mayfield: " We all are excited about our new paint scheme. Kmart has decided to have our car represent more of the Kmart logo than our RC Cola logo. It's going to be on for the rest of this year, and in the future you'll probably see more of Kmart on the car." (Jayski)

DAVID GREEN probably won't be able to go the distance in Sunday's Southern 500 because of his cracked right shoulder blade. Todd Bodine is one possible relief driver. ''He's doing pretty good, other than his shoulder blade,'' crew chief Sammy Johns said. ''As far as Darlington, we're just playing it by ear right now. He's sore, but in pretty good shape.'' (Mike Mulhern, JournalNow)

I hear on a Monday(8-25) night Grand Rapids, Michigan auto racing radio show on WBBL 1340 AM that Jack Roush says that if Johnny Benson can get a release from his current contract with the #30 car, Roush would hire him and build a Ford team around him but he has no intentions of buying the #30 team and that the #97 will be a Ford in 1998 (Jayski)

Richmond International Raceway has increased its capacity to 97,000 with an addition of a 12,500 seat grandstand and expanded the first-aid stations, restrooms, concession stands and souvenir stands (GVA/Jayski)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be a lot better than many people had thought. He finished in the top 10 at Michigan, and he gave Jimmy Spencer all he could handle in an amazingly strong Grand National run at Bristol in his first race at the track his father once dominated. (Mike Mulhern, JournalNow)

Washington Erving Motorsports has been quiet. That doesn't mean it has been standing still. ``Everybody thinks we're sitting on our hands, doing nothing,'' team spokesperson Kathy Thompson said. ``Wrong again.'' Thompson said the team has people building cars and that it still plans to make its debut at Speedweeks at Daytona in February. ``We are a fraction of an inch away from naming a driver,'' Thompson said. ``We are closing deals on sponsorships. But I am one of those people who doesn't like to say anything until the contracts are signed.'' (charlotte.com)

If it's late August, then it must be time for testing at Richmond International Raceway. Has been for the past few weeks, in fact. Although the Winston Cup circuit hits Darlington, S.C., this weekend before moving to RIR and the Sept. 6 Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400, several drivers already have been testing their racing acumen on the track in Henrico County. And yesterday's Winston Cup visitors all had a somewhat local flavor about them. Consider:

You had Dick Trickle, who drives the Richmond-based Heilig Myers Ford owned by Richmond's Junie Donlavey.

You had Hut Stricklin, driver for the Richmond-based Circuit City car.

You had Bobby Labonte, who drives the car owned by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs.

And finally, you had Jeff Burton, the Virginia native who has stamped himself as a Winston Cup heavyweight in his fourth full-time season on the circuit. With 10 races left, Burton is fifth in the points race, 291 points back of new leader Mark Martin.

They'll crank up their engines here again today, along with Winston Cup regular Michael Waltrip. (SKIP WOOD, Times-Dispatch)

NASCAR officials have announced that NASCAR Busch Series driver Roy "Buckshot" Jones has been fined $5,000 and penalized 50 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division championship points for his on-track actions during Friday's Food City 250 race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. His actions were deemed in violation of Section 12, Rule 4, Article A in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Rule Book: actions detrimental to auto racing. Jones, driver of the No. 00 Aquafresh Pontiac owned by his father, Billy Jones, also has been placed on probation until Dec. 31, 1997 and any similar, subsequent actions will result in a two-race suspension. (NASCAR Online)

NASCAR and Papyrus Design Group, a division of Sierra On-line, Inc., will expand the thrill of the popular NASCAR Racing 2 computer software game with the new NASCAR Grand National Series Expansion Pack. The new software is scheduled to ship to stores on Oct. 20. It provides NASCAR Racing 2 users with 12 new tracks and 30 new teams from the popular NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. (NASCAR Online)

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 Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Dick Trickle , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Jimmy Spencer , Hut Stricklin , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Steve Grissom , Jack Roush , Robert Yates , Mark Martin