NASHVILLE, TN. - (3/20/97) - Notes for March 23 Phillips 66 race day: * Phillips 66 Racing Fuel presents this weekend's (Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23 at 1:00 PM) NASCAR Winston Racing Series program at Nashville Speedway USA. The...
NASHVILLE, TN. - (3/20/97) - Notes for March 23 Phillips 66 race day:
* Phillips 66 Racing Fuel presents this weekend's (Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23 at 1:00 PM) NASCAR Winston Racing Series program at Nashville Speedway USA. The NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Stock Cars and the Ryder Integrated Logistics SuperTrucks will headline Sunday's race events, with 50-lap features for each division. The Phillips 66 Pro Modifieds will run a 25-lap feature, and the Street Modifieds will contest a 20½-lap feature on the 5/8th mile oval. Featured on the quarter-mile track will be 25-lap features for the ADT Automotive Legends Cars and a 20-lap feature for the Pure Stocks.
* Practice for each division will take place Saturday morning starting at 10:00 AM, with qualifying for the Late Model Stock Cars, SuperTrucks, and Pro Modifieds at 3:00 PM. Sunday's race events take the green flag at 1:00 PM. Spectator gates will open at 11:00 AM both days. Saturday's admission is free in the grandstands, Sunday adults will pay $10.00 and children 11 and under are admitted free.
* Craig Wilson's career first Late Model Stock Car win came in only his second full season in the division. Wilson was a standout Street Modified competitor on the quarter mile track (he won 19 features in a 3 year span from 1990 to '93) before moving to the Limited Sportsman division on the 5/8th mile track in 1994. He competed in 4 Limited Sportsman division races in '94. Craig won 6 features and the Rookie of the Year honors in 1995 and then moved to the Late Model Stock Cars in 1996.
* Wilson became the 104th different driver to win a points feature in the Premier division since 1958. Wilson's first win ties him with 31 other drivers for 72nd on the all-time win list. Wilson is amongst some pretty elite company as a one-time winner. Sharing one feature win with the 29 year old are Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield, and Marty Robbins.
* Jimmy Valentine's win in the inaugural race for the Ryder Integrated Logistics SuperTrucks will go down as a milestone in the Nashville Speedway history books as the first ever win for a pick up truck. Valentine's Dodge Ram SuperTruck is owned by former Winston Cup competitor and Nashville Speedway champ Mike Alexander.
* Valentine was the Mini Modified champion in 1990 when the division competed on the quarter mile track. Valentine's first win came in a 25-lap race on May 7th, 1988 and he amassed a total of 17 total feature wins from 1988 through 1991. Alexander won the Late Model championship in 1978 and 1992 and ranks third on the all time win list with 45.
* Other notable firsts for the record books include Charlie Griffin of Chattanooga becoming the first ever winner on the paved Nashville track on July 19, 1958. Griffin won a 30-lap feature in the Modified Special division on the quarter mile track. On April 18, 1964 Walter Wallace was the first winner in a full-bodied race car (versus open wheel, ie. Modified Specials, etc). Wallace won a 30-lap feature in the Late Model division. **
* April 18, 1980 the late Butch Lindley won the first ever Grand American race held at Nashville Speedway. The race was 200 laps on the 5/8th mile track and featured Camaros, Firebirds, and Mustangs as part of the Grand American class. James Williams won the first ever Late Model Stock Car race on April 14, 1984. The race was a 35-lap feature on the 5/8th mile track.**
* Jimbo Vance started the 1997 Pro Modified season the same way he started the '96 season: with a pole and a win. Vance qualified for the '97 season opener at a 20.328 seconds at an average speed of 105.548 mph, compared to a 19.190 seconds at an average speed of 107.764 mph in '96. The Pro Modified division for '97 uses a restrictor plate.
* Opening day Street Modified winner Mitchell Vickers was the division's Rookie of the Year and champion in 1992. Sunday's 34-car field for the Street Modifieds was the largest starting field for the division since being moved to the 5/8th mile track in '96.
* Pure Stock feature winner Mike Fredericks' win Sunday was his second in 2 years, but his first outright win. Fredericks won a feature on July 20, 1996 when the original winner John Tinkham was disqualified. Sunday was Fredericks' first win by crossing the finish line first and no DQ's.
* Legends A feature winner Clay Hair will race Saturday night at Florence (NC) Speedway and then haul overnight to Nashville for Sunday's race. Hair is running for the BF Goodrich National Legends Series points championship. The championship season runs from January 1 through October 19. Clay was the 1993 Modified Eliminator IHRA World Drag Racing Champion and works at Diamond Ridge Motorsports and drives the Diamond Ridge Legends car. The Legends team just signed on Am-Pro Protective Agency as a major sponsor.
* Buddy Sanford, winner of the B feature for the Legends Cars, is a big Richard Petty and Bobby Hamilton fan, thus the #43 and the Petty blue, red/orange paint scheme. Sanford's first Legends Car was purchased from Chuck Spicer, an occasional Late Model competitor and STP's racing representative. Sanford is a big fan of local drivers who go from Nashville to the big time.
* 1990 Nashville Speedway Late Model Stock Car champion and Winston Racing Series Regional points runner-up Jeff Green's win in the Busch Series race at Las Vegas Speedway was his first Busch win in 100 starts. Green last visited Nashville's Victory Lane in April of 1994 driving for car owner Tim Fowlkes. Green drives the Diamond Ridge Motorsports Busch Series car owned by Gary Bechtel.
* An injury update: Pro Modified driver Rodger Garmon was released from Vanderbilt Hospital on Monday, March 17. Garmon suffered a concussion and memory loss as well as strained neck muscles in a crash during practice Saturday afternoon, March 15. Mike Franklin and David Matlock, both of whom were involved in the same crash are reported sore but doing fine. David Matheny, Jr., injured in a nine truck crash during the SuperTruck race, suffered a chipped bone in his elbow, strained muscles in his neck, shoulders, arm, and back, has plans on competing this weekend.
** Nashville Speedway Racing Historian Russ Thompson provided information.