Pepsi 400 (10/17/98) Notes:
5" Program extended to 1999...During a press conference held Friday, R.J.
Reynolds representatives announced that the No Bull 5 will return in 1999. The No Bull 5
was originally developed one year ago as a unique way to honor NASCAR's 50th anniversary.
The commitment was for just one year.
The five events in 1999 will be the Daytona
500, Las Vegas 400, Coca-Cola 600, Pepsi Southern 400 and Winston 500.
Additionally, it was noted that the fan
portion of the 1999 No Bull 5 "will have a new twist" for added excitement. The
specifics will be announced in New York City at the NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet in
Qualifying is set for the Pepsi 400...
The top 25 starting positions are set for Saturday's inaugural nighttime running
of the Pepsi 400.
It was only fitting since Dale
Earnhardt was the first to test the new lighting system at the Daytona
International Speedway that he be the first out to qualify. Earnhardt lit up the track
with sparks as his car bottomed out on the track in turns one and two during his
qualifying run. As his car scraped the track sending sparks flying everywhere and
momentarily upsetting the cars momentum, Earnhardt kept his foot in the gas and rounded
the 2.5 mile circuit in 46.928 second at 191.783 mph. He held the provisional pole until
Bobby Labonte's qualifying run, but his time was good enough for the fifth place in the
starting line up for Saturday nights race.
Earnhardt had that famous grin on his face
after his early qualifying run, but was cautiously optomistic about remaining on the pole,
"cause there's a lot of good cars to go out there yet", he said. Infact, there
were 47 other cars yet to qualify but only four of them would better Earnhardt's
Earnhardt and Daytona are a great match. He
has 31 wins on the Super Speedway and over 3 million dollars in winnings from races at
Daytona. No other driver even comes close to those numbers.
Positions 1 - 25 will be
guaranteed a starting position.
The rest of the field will be determined following second-round qulaifying.
400, Money Winners and All Time Lap Leaders...
Pepsi 400 Money Winners
A list of the all-time money winners through the 1997 Pespi 400:
1. Dale Earnhardt, $620,165
2. Sterling Marlin, $455,170
3. Bill Elliott, $442,441
4. Terry Labonte, $361,890
5. Darrell Waltrip, $335,313
6. Ken Schrader, $306,540
7. Ricky Rudd, $297,307
8. Ernie Irvan, $296,780
9. Jeff Gordon, $295,250
10. Geoff Bodine, $264,960
Pepsi 400 all-time lap
A list of all-time Pepsi 400 lap leaders through the 1997 Pepsi 400 with driver, races led
(Rl) and laps led (L):
Driver, Rl, L
1. Cale Yarborough, 17, 645
2. Dale Earnhardt, 15, 741
3. Buddy Baker, 18, 445
4. Richard Petty, 16, 423
5. Bobby Allison, 16, 405
6. David Pearson, 13, 380
7. Ernie Irvan, 4, 293
8. Fireball Roberts, 5, 237
9. Sterling Marlin, 9, 226
10. Bill Elliott, 8, 226
Goodwrench Team Comments on Pepsi 400..."The community around the Speedway
should be commended for coming together at such a devastating time," said team owner
Richard Childress. "All of the efforts from the fire fighters from all over the
country was tremendous. It is times like those experienced in July that you appreciate
what is really important in life."
"I'm looking forward to
running Daytona under the lights," remarked Earnhardt. "It was a massive
undertaking to light such a big area and it looks as if they've done a good job. The real
test will be Thursday with all of the cars on the race track. The fans are going to be
thrilled when they see this race under the lights. Its unfortunate that we couldn't do it
as scheduled in July, but the right decision was made and hopefully everybody was able to
rearrange their plans and get back here this weekend. The one problem the speedway is
going to face is that the fans will see how nice the weather is in Florida in October and
want to have it at this time every year."
"Having two restrictor
plate races back-to-back isn't the best situation," notes crewchief Kevin Hamlin.
"But everybody is in the same boat. We've known it for three months and I believe
we're all prepared. We did some damage to our car in Talladega, but that's not the car we
planned on bringing to Daytona. We tested this car last week and had it as a back-up at
Talladega. I think everyone did the same thing and had two good cars ready going into
these two races," remarked Hamlin.(10-15-98)(Country.com Motorsports)
Plate Master at Work...Coming back to Daytona International Speedway is easy for
Dale Earnhardt and the GM Goodwrench Service Plus team. The last time they raced on the
2.5 mile tri-oval they carried the trophy home with them, winning the 40th annual Daytona
500, a feat that had eluded Earnhardt for 20 years.
In February '98, Dale
Earnhardt was the first driver to take full speed laps around the speedway at night.
Earnhardt drove his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet for 20 laps, representing every
year that he has competed on the NASCAR circuit. He was chosen to be the first driver on
the track under the lights because he holds the record at the speedway with more wins than
any other driver in history.
The GM Goodwrench Service
Plus team has tested six times preparing for superspeedway events on the NASCAR Winston
Cup circuit. They tested last week in Daytona, making preparations for the inaugural race
under the lights at Daytona International Speedway. There has been three NASCAR Winston
Cup events that had restrictor plates in the 1998 season. In those three races, the GM
Goodwrench Service Plus team has a record of one victory and two finishes 20th or worse.
The car that Dale Earnhardt
won the Daytona 500 in sits on display just outside Turn 4 in the Daytona USA family
attraction. The attraction will have the GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo until the
1999 Daytona 500.(10-15-98)(Country.com Motorsports)
should be good news for Earnhardt...In the 79
Winston Cup races at Daytona, only 11 pole winners have gone on to victory lane. But 80
percent of the winners (63 of 79) have started inside the top-10. That should be good news
to Earnhardt fans. His car was excellent at Talladega, and so were his chances, but he got
caught up in the big one. That's two weeks in a row for the Goodwrench guys. But last
Sunday morning in the garage at Talladega, a lot of the teams were pointing at the No. 3
car as the one to beat. That could be the case again this week.
Here we go again. The second
restrictor-plate race in less than a week. How do those guys sleep at night? All that
tight racing. Guys still mad at each other. "He didn't help me when he said he would,
but I promised to help him until somebody else helped me." Help.
Saturday night, the Winston Cup series races
at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., made up the wildfire-delayed
Pepsi 400. This is the 30th race of the 33-race season. John Andretti is the defending
champion, Mike Skinner sat on the pole here last year, and of course Dale Earnhardt won
the Daytona 500 in February, his only win of the season.(10-15-98)(Weber -
Bull" unveiling for 1999...Scheduled for Friday afternoon at 5:45pm/et, at
Daytona, is Winston's unveiling of its bonus program for next year. Sources say the No
Bull Five will undergo a bit of fine tuning, but the basic program will remain
intact.(SpeedNet) -- Look for the program to return next year, but for the five races
involved may be a little different. We're hearing that the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600
in May at Charlotte and the
Winston 500 at Talladega will once again be bonus races, but that they will be joined by
the Las Vegas race and by the August night race at Bristol. Those two would replace the
Brickyard 400 and Southern 500.(That's Racin)(10-12-98)
Speeds from Daytona for Tuesday and Wednesday (10-9-98)
36 Ernie Irvan/Pont. 47.44 189.713
3 Dale Earhardt/Chevy 47.49 189.514
7 Geoff Bodine/Ford 47.66 188.838
30 Derrike Cope/Pont. 47.68 188.758
3a Mike Dillon/Chevy 47.78 188.363
89 Dennis Setzer/Ford 47.88 187.970
13 Ted Musgrave/Ford 47.89 188.931
41 Rick Wilson/Chevy 48.12 187.032
11 Brett Bodine/Ford 48.50 185.567
Speeds from the Daytona testing, Day
3 Dale Earnhardt/Chevrolet 47.49 secs 189.514
36 Ernie Irvan/Pontiac 47.55 189.268
7 Geoff Bodine/Ford 47.66 188.838
30 Derrike Cope/Pontiac 47.68 188.758
#3a-Mike Dillon 188.285mph
89 Dennis Setzer/Ford 47.88 187.970;
13 Ted Musgrave/Ford 47.89 187.931
#41-Rick Wislon 187.032
#30-Derrike Cope 186.413
#11-Brett Bodine 185.567
Speeds from the Daytona testing, Day
#36-Ernie Irvan 188.403mph
#3-Mike Dillon(in DE's car) 188.363
#7-Geoff Bodine 185.759
#30-Derrike Cope 185.300
#41-Rick Wilson 182.482