The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 21, 1998 · Page 24
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 24

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 21, 1998
Page 24
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D4 THURSDAY. MAY 21, 1993 AUTO RACING THE SALINA JOURNAL Racing legend enjoys being owner Indy Racing League's hands-on rules have Foyt smiling at Indy By DAN KORB Scripps Howard News Service INDIANAPOLIS — Explaining the grin on A. J. Foyt's face is easy. The Indy Racing League has, figuratively speaking, built a time machine, and the four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 has felt 30 years younger ever since. "It's racing like it was in the '60s and early 70s," he said. "I guess that's fired me up more than anything. Now it's more the crew and your driver and your sponsors. In other words, your hands aren't tied." What has gotten Foyt so excited — other than putting both of his drivers in the front row for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 — are the rules the IRL instituted for its version of Indy car racing. Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), which set the rules for Indy car racing almost exclusively until the IRL began racing two years ago, requires that engines be leased, not sold, to race teams. That has meant teams cannot do much work on the engines, that the major work must be done by the engines' manufacturers. To Foyt, who grew up tinkering with and maintaining his own race car, that was infuriating. "The way it was in the other circuit, you couldn't really do the work yourself," he said. "You were AJ.'s 40th Indy To many fans of racing, A.J. Foyt and the Indianapolis 500 go hand in hand. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser are the only drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times. A look at Foyfs Indy career. 1958 Competes in first 500; starts 12 and finishes 16 • 1958~ 1964 Claims second 500 victory after starting fifth • 1977 Becomes first four-time winner after starting fourth* 1993 Officially retires from driving at 1961* First 500 victory; starts race in seventh position 1968 L 1967 • Third 500 victory after starting fourth 1978 1988 ... 1992* Drives in last 500 (35* overall) finishing ninth 1998 1993-1998 Stays competitive at Indianapolis as car owner • Indianapolis 500 record Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway kind of penalized on motors." Just the memory of it sets Foyt off. "It was whatever THEY wanted to do, " he said, practically shouting the word "they," "and then you paid for it." It's different in the IRL; teams buy and maintain their own engines. "Now that racing is back with the teams, I guess that's what's fired me up," he said. AP/Justln Gilbert Judging from what happened in last weekend's qualifications, the change has been a success. Foyt and his crew helped put two second-year drivers in Row 1 — Billy Boat on the pole and Kenny Brack on the outside. Naturally, anyone who drives for Foyt gets questioned about his personality and how he treats his drivers. Boat, in his second year of working for Foyt, already has learned to accept his car owner's jibes without complaint. For instance, Boat tried to compare his 11-race winning streak in midget racers in 1995 to Foyt's career. "Anytime you come close to doing something that he did, it's a pretty major thing," said Boat. To which Foyt snickered, "I think he ran against little girls." Boat laughed as loud as anyone. Brack, though, is a newcomer to the team. He's also Swedish, and Foyt has never been overly fond of the foreign drivers who come into American racing. You'd also think there would be a problem with translation, with Brack's Swedish-accented English bumping up against Foyt's profanity-laced Texas twang. "I pretty much understand him," said Brack with a grin. "He's very, very honest. He's very, very straightforward. He tells you what he thinks, and it may not always be what you want to hear. But I think racing would benefit with more people like him." Foyt is also a big booster of the Indianapolis 500. He's always said that nobody would know who he was — despite his hundreds of victories at almost every level of oval-track racing — if he hadn't won at Indy. He's still saying it, only now he thinks drivers like Boat and Brack and Tony Stewart are the next generation who will make their names by winning at Indianapolis. "A.J. Foyt's gone from here now," he said. "But they'll remember me back in history." RACING DIGEST Seven drivers In Sunday's Indianapolis 500 will be doing more than simply driving a race car. Each of them will also be taking part In a medical research project. Scott Goodyear, Roberto Guerrero, Davey Hamilton, Sam Schmidt, Jim Guthrie, Jeff Ward and Buzz Calkins all will be wearing monitors to gauge how their heart rate Is affected by the mental and physical stresses of driving at speeds over 200 mph, dodging through highspeed traffic and making pressure-packed pit stops for three hours. "As drivers begin to show fatigue, their alertness decreases and they don't drive as effectively," said Jeff Champion of Winning Edge Laboratories, the company that will administer the tests. "By monitoring the heart rate of the drivers, we can accurately measure the physiological stresses placed on them throughout the race," he added. "From this information, we can personalize training programs to address specific weaknesses." Each monitor is a wireless transmitter encased in a waterproof chest strap containing two electrodes and attached to a watchlike device on the driver's wrist. The heart rate of each driver will be transmitted to the watch monitor that records and displays it. Immediately following the race, the heart rate information will be downloaded onto a special program using a laptop computer. • ROLLING ON: Morgan Shepherd, at 56 years old, is not looking for a rocking chair. Shepherd, who has bounced from ride to ride In recent years, says he's confident he can still drive competitively. His latest ride is in Team Sabco's No. 46 Chevrolet, which started the season with Wally Dallenbach Jr. at the wheel. But the most attention the four-time race winner has gotten in years came at last ' month's 50th anniversary party for NASCAR in Hollywood, Calif. Shepherd took part In a star-studded stage show by putting on a roller-skating exhibition. "ESPN had called me and asked me If I'd do this thing for the 50th anniversary," Shepherd said. "I told them I'd do it. I got out there on Thursday and got over to the studio and all these Hollywood people were there, and all these professional dancers. "I was wondering what I got myself into. I had never got up on stage in front of an audience, and now the whole world is going to be watching. I was really nervous. All I wanted to do was get up there and not fall in front of the whole world and be embarrassed." Shepherd danced to the Beach Boys' "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and brought down the house. "The little old lady was a guy," he said. "I went out and went around and around and did my own thing a little bit. Then I went out and the girls followed me around. I wiggled around a little big more and then went off Shepherd, who turned to religion at 33 after a wild youth, took up skating "because I needed somewhere to go that was more family oriented." "Skating gives you a real good workout," he said. "A lot of people don't realize it, but they say one hard song of dancing Is like a football player playing a whole game." • TOOL MAN: Rusty Wallace knows something about racing, and the 1989 Winston Cup champion says TV funny man Tim Allen could have made a living in the stock car sport. Wallace and Allen, who stars in the weekly sitcom "Home Improvement" as Tim 'Tool Man" Taylor, made a video that was shown during last month's ESPN's NASCAR Hollywood special. "He's a cool guy, kind of cocky and sure of himself," Wallace said. "We hit it off from the start. The theme of the video had us talk about racing, with me giving him some pointers. Then we had race cars to drive around the track. I had one of our Miller Lite show cars and he had one of the driving school cars all painted up with "Home Improvement" on it. "I'll tell you what, Tim Allen didn't need any pointers when it came to driving that car. He's pretty good at the wheel. Had he chosen to be a racer, I think he could have been successful from what I saw. "But, I guess since Tim is raking in $1.2 million per episode, you could say that he made the right decision with his career." Allen has done some racing with the Sports Car Club of America, including a few professional events. —The Associated Press Special Advertising Section POINTS STANDINGS WINSTON CUP 1. Jeremy Mayfield, 1.457 2. Terry Labonte, 1,421. 3. Jeff Gorton. 1,410. 4. Rusty Wallace, 1,384. 5. Mark Martin. 1,334. 6. Dale Jurat, 1,295. 7. Data Earnhardt, ),223. 8. Jimmy Spencer, 1,184. 9. Bobby Labonte, 1.169. 10. Ken Schrader, 1,158. BUSCH 1. M. Mclaughlin, 1,534. 2. Watt Kensoth, 1,524. 3. D. Earnhardt Jr., 1.423, 4. Buckshot Jones, 1,374 5. Elliott Sadler, 1344, 6. Jason Keller. 1,314. 7. Dick Trickle, 1.294. 8. Bandy LaJole, 1,287. 9. Glenn Allen, 1,277. 10. Tom Fedewa, 1,268. TRUCK 1. Jack Sprague, 840. 2. Ron Homaday, 822. 3. Stacy Compton, 728. 4. Jay Sauter, 718. 5. Rick Carelll, 697. 6. Jo« Ruttman, 678. 7. Handy Tolsma, 624. 7. Bryan Reffner, 824. 9. Tony Raines, 605. 10. Bob Keselowskl, 603. FROM UST WEEK WINSTON CUP SERIES Mark Martin took advantage of an Incredible mistake on the final lap to win Trie Winston all- star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Martin assumed the lead after defending champion Jeff Gordon ran out of gas at the white flag. Fuel mileage should not have been an Issue In such a .short (105-mile) race. The Ford driver also won the race's second segment, giving him earnings of $257,500 for a race watched by more than 150,000 fans. "It's pretty embarrassing,'' admitted a dejected Gordon. "I don't know all the specifics of what happened, but I do know this: We had an awesome car." Jeremy Mayfleld won the evening's primary undercard, earning a transfer Into The Winston with a victory in the 50-lap Winston Open. BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL For the first time since 1995, Tim Fedewa captured the annual BGN race at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway. The victories are notable since they make up the Holt, Mich., driver's two career victories In the division. Dale Earnhardt Jr., the pole winner, dominated the early going but crashed after being penalized by NASCAR for illegally entering the pits. In 11 events, the Busch Grand National division has had 10 different race winners this year. Only Joe Nemechek has scored twice. Weekly rankings by NASCAR This Week writer Monte Dutton. Last week's ranking is in parentheses, 1. Mark Martin (1) Could be his year 2. Jeff Gordon (2) Gas man fell asleep 3. Jeremy Mayfleld (3) Unofficial checkered flags 4. Terry Labonte (4) Seeking a victory 5. Bobby Labonte (5) Nice Winston showing 6. Rusty Wallace (6) Restless and overdue 7. Dale Jarrett (8) Could win at any time 8. Jeff Burton (9) Teammate hogging W's 9. Dale Earnhardt (7) Back in black 10. Bill Elliott (10) Back In business ON THE SCHEDULE 1897 Winner Pole May 24 May 31 Junee June 14 June 21 June 28 July 4 .July 12 July 26 Aug. 1 Aug. 9 Aug. 16 Aug. 22 Coca-Cola 600, Concord, N.C. Miller 500, Dover, Del. Pontlac 400, Richmond. Va. Millar 400, Brooklyn, Mich. Pocono 500, Long Pond, Pa. Save Mart 300, Sonoma, Callt. Pepsi 400, Daytona Beach, Fla. Jiffy Lube 300. Loudon, N.H. Pennsylvania 500, Long Pond, Pa. Brickyard 400, Speedway, Ind. Bud at the Qlen, Welkins Qlen, N.Y. DeVllbisa 400, Brooklyn, Mich. Goody's 500, Bristol, Tenn. J. Gordon Rudd R. Wallace Irvan J. Gorton Martin Andrettl J. Burton Jarrett Rudd J. Gordon Martin Jarrett J. Gordon B, Labonte T. Labonte Jarrett Hamilton Martin Skinner Schrader Nemechek trvan T. Bodlne Benson K Wallace FEUD OF THE WEEK Terry Labonte vs. Kenny Irwln > The rookie driver knocked '. the twp-time champion out of _ soflHfp *W lrwjn. : >t into therac*bymt«chr*>a%" fltwln* place was derived ' from races won by Ernie trvan' <• for bar owner Robert Yatea) and to hint that Irwfn had no :, NASCAR Thtt Week writer Monte Dutton gives hia , opinion! "irwin aeems to be feeling the pressure of debut- Ins In Winston Cup with such a powerful team. It's not easy being labeled the next Jeff THE WINSTON CUP CIRCUIT THE WINSTON CUP SERIES COMING UP: Coca-Cola 600 WHERE: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. WHEN: Sunday, May 24 DEFENDING CHAMPION: Jeff Gordon QUALIFYING RECORD: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 184.300 mph, May 21,1997 (overall track record held by Ward Burton, Pontlac, 185.759 mph, Oct. 5,1994). RACE RECORD: Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet, 151.952 mph, May 28,1995. NOTABLE: Two of the last four Coke 600's have been won by first-time winners. Gordon's first official victory occurred In 1994 here, and Bobby Labonte followed with his first win the following year.... Darrell Waltrlp and Bobby Allison are tied as CMS' all-time leaders In victories with six apiece.... Second to Waltrlp among active drivers Is Dale Earnhardt with five wins. ALMOST HOMl COOKING North Carolina prides Itself on Its barbecue restaurants, and the nearby town of Lexington Is one of the Tarheel State's "Q capitals." To reach Lexington from Charlotte Motor Speedway, take I-85 North past Salisbury, then exit onto U.S. 52 North to the Lexington exit. BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL COMING UP: CarQuest Auto Parts 300 WHERE: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. WHEN: Saturday, May 23 DEFENDING CHAMPION: Joe Nemechek TRACK QUALIFYING RECORD: Mark Martin, Ford, 176.696 mph, Oct. 6,1994. RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, Ford, 155.996 mph, May 25,1996. NOTABLE: A Martin victory would make him the track's all-time leader In BGN wins with five. He and retired Many Gant share that distinction at present.... Pontlacs have won more Charlotte events (10) than any other make. CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES WHERE: I-70 Speedway, Odessa, Mo. WHEN: Saturday, May 23 DEFENDING CHAMPION: Tony Raines QUALIFYING RECORD: Rich Sickle, Chevrolet, 113.125 mph, May 23,1997. RACE RECORD: Tony Raines, Dodge, 82.725 mph, May 24,1997. NOTABLE: Raines claimed the first victory ever In the Truck Series for the Dodge Ram a year ago.... No Dodge has won a race thus far In 1998.... Other former winners are Mike Skinner and Mike Bliss. PROFILE Charlotte Motor Speedway Photos courtesy of Charlotte Motor Speedway Above and below, Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts thousands for the '97 UAW-GM 500. By Monte Dutton NASCAR This Week LOCATION: Concord, N.C. SIZE & CONFIGURATION: 1.5-mile tri-oval OPENED: 1960 ALL-TIME WINSTON CUP RACE WINNER: Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip, each with six victories. ALL-TIME BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL RACE WINNER: Mark Martin and Harry Gant, each with four victories. SCHEDULE: May 16, The Winston; May 23, CarQuest Auto Parts 300 (BGN); May 24, Coca-Cola 600 (Cup); July 25, vlsionaire 500 (Indy Racing League); Oct. 3, All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300 (BGN); Oct. 4, UAW-GM Quality 500 (Cup). Charlotte Motor Speedway set the standard for fan comfort and Innovativeness that many other NASCAR facilities have strived to equal. Under the farsighted leadership of builder O. Bruton Smith and general manager HA (Humpy) Wheeler, CMS led the way In constructing comfortable seating, luxury suites, a Speedway Club and even a high-rise condominium complex overlooking turn one. CMS was the first NASCAR superspeedway to install an advanced lighting system for night racing. Charlotte races are always an event, both for , Who's not WHO'S HOT: Jeremy Mayfisld has ninetop-15 finishes In the first 10 races. WHO'S NOT: Mayfield's teammate, Rusty Wallace, has gone 39 races since has last victory. TRIVIA 1. What adjective was used to describe the Hudson Hornet? 2. What two-time champion was known as "Little Joe"? 3. Who is "Mr. Excitement"? 8H3M8NV AROUND THE GARAGE FROM THE ARCHIVES: Rumor has track owners petitioning for bias-ply tires Ttu *(«K KI**nvu «* MACS*AD _..._.. . ** • ' Th* rich history of NASCAR " That Charlotte Motor Speed way exists at all today Is somewhat of a miracle. The speedway's builders, Curtis Turner and Bruton Smith, managed to get the track built despite a number of ; unexpected expenses, the most notable Involving the solid granite on the site that had to be removed with explosives. When the first World 600 was run In 1960, the track was barely completed In time and the cars started tearing up the fresh pavement almost Immediately. Joe Lee Johnson won that race In a Chevrolet .owned by Frank Strickland. By Monte Dutton NASCAR This Week CONCORD, N.C. — A persistent rumor at Charlotte Motor Speedway had a group of track owners petitioning NASCAR to bring back bias-ply tires. Winston Cup cars have been shod with radial tires since the late 1980s, but those who prefer the old bias-ply tires cite two weaknesses of the radials. The newer tires are so adhesive that they are hard on racing surfaces, requiring frequent repavings, and from a driverls viewpoint, they are not "forgiving." It is easier with bias-ply rubber for a driver to control of a car that has esion. other respects, radial tires are clearly superior. Goodyear •^officials sauUhe company had no plans to prSfcjjSbiaa-ply racing NAgCA^sgcjkesnian Jeff Motley said; "ror n'resi'Wft/ely on the expertise and advice ofGoodyear, and if Goodyear says there are no plans to produce bias-ply tires, then they will hot Js-used." ,4" ' " partici- crew in two In addition to ities as "gasman" for Dale Earnhardt v Myers-AVnT>vork in the Indianapolis 500 crtif of , Billy Boat, wfib drives fo> four^g time Indy wir In fact, Saturday at Jhe* best chance Tor be with ih s JMPolf ^SS oriT Yen I ig at Indy is practically a I job than in NASCAR, : _11 -gallon tanks are hoisted Into, the air and tho gasoline transferred by gravity and brawn. At Indy, the' fuej is rrieihannl, not gasoline, and it-js^ transferred-vis a locking hose mechanism.' V Myers, the son of one-time .;/' NASCAR driver Bobby Myers, worked on the IRL team of Chitwood Racing in the Vision- aire 500 at CMS last year. A corporate jet will fly him from Indianapolis to Charlotte, and a helicopter will then transport him from Douglas International Airport to the track. THE WINSTON DEAJSS: Ricky Rudd, Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip are the only drivers to have competed in all 13 Winstons. Rudd has driven for four different car owners: Bud Moore, Kenny Bernstein, Rick Hendrick and himself. spine-tingling action and gaudy promotions: Military exhibitions, stunt shows and the Legends car races are conducted on a small track in the tri-oval. Even as similarly upscale facilities are being built around the country, Charlotte Motor Speedway remains the premier showcase of stock car racing. Umn from Our Hudcra Dear NASCAR This Week, 1 am wondering why [NASCAR is] allowing these "race teams" to place so many cars in a race. I am a Ford person and like all the race drivers, but the way things are going, there will be only several race teams [soon]. I am 63 years old, and years ago, racing started out to be competition. Now it's allabout who has the most money. Let's keep the money there and give more teams a chance to enter in a race, say, no more than three cars. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who feel as I do. I personally am losing interest in racing because you know at least four of the top 10 cars finishing in a race will be a Jack Roush car. Robert Taylor Munith, Mich. If you've got a question or a comment, write: NASCAR This Week Your Turn, c/o The Gaston Gazette, 2500 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonla, N.C. 28054 • How could you pick Mark Martin's crew, which made a wrong call In the Winston, or Jeff Gordon's, which allowed Its driver to run out of gas? The nod goes to BACE Motoraports, which put Tim Fedewa back In victory lane at Nazareth for the first time since 1995. Peter Golenbock has written another compelling stock car racing book, "The Last Lap" (MacMlllan USA, $24.95), which focuses on unfulfilled legends of men like Fireball Roberts, Bobby Isaac, Davey Allison and Alan Kulwlckl. While fraught with pesky little errors, the book seldom errs In its straight-shooting treatment of the sport. RACING ON THE Sun a Wind's NASCAR WMROYAL 1 DRIVING DEPENDABILITY HOME TIGER PAW XTIT Mi-season Radlals The aggressively responsive, all-season, steel-belled radial with road-hugging performance and super-smooth ride. Bengston, Tire 730 N. Santa Fe 823-3771 16th Annual Crossroads Car Festival Saturday, June 20th Sam Belleville City Park Belleville, KS J r-/NX\'N^, 500 Cars Trophies 1 Prizes Parade Fun & Friendsl -X^Xx^-^^ Saturday Night - Dance to King Midas & The Mufflers $15 per entry Send to 2526 P Street Belleville, KS 66935 or call 785-527-5582 Belleville High Banks) Box 349, Belleville, KS 66935 || Call or write tar 1998 Sctio May 24 MMU/RMMRA Midget Challenge I June 7- NCRA 360 Sprints | July 5-NCRA Late Models & Modlfleds All HKlng Starts at 7:30 p.m. Mark Miller 913-527-2244 tdvantoge REALTOR Srinc. 415 E.Iron 825-5200 800-825-0206 http// Each Office Independently Owned and Operated Oil & Lube $1/195 • B^B Includes up to M H^ 5 quarts of oil Plus FREE 15 Point Inspection I Call Now! 785-823-6372 Bennett Autoplex, Inc. Service Department 651 S.Ohio Salina BRITTENDALL MOTOR CO, SALINA, KS. Since 1960 Member of the National Independent Auto Dealers Association "Spotlight Vehicle" 1995 Chevy 1/2-ton stepslde, V6,5sp, power & air. Only $12.500 Cars • Ihcks • Motorcycles 1 SAM BRITTENDALL 631 N. Santa Fe • 827-7962 we Can Fill Your upholstery Needs! » original upholstery « Boat covers • convertible TOPS • tandau- • Aircraft upholstery «lnsta Dash covers i « eastern Interiors • Pickup, Tonneau •truck Cushion covers' AUTO 785-825-8955 i 410 N, 5th ' , Salina •"""•"'•R.-rT; •••i.iiv'd | Poors Light Wearables & Accessories available at our Retail Outlet. 785*827*0321 CROWN DISTRIBUTORS, INC. 606 N. Ohio Salina, KS 67401 Copyright 1998 The Gaston (lf.C.} Gazette • Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate (800) 255-6734 • For release wefk of May 18 Page Design by Enn Potter/The Qaaton Qaiatta

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