ARA Racefacts bulletin (for week of 9/27/98)
28 September 1998
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN Ricky Rudd's victory (Tide Rudd Ford Taurus) in Sunday's Martinsville NAPA Autocare 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race was his first Winston Cup win of 1998 and extended Ricky's Winston Cup streak of seasons with at least one win to 16, 1983-1998! This streak is now the longest ever achieved in the Winston Cup "modern era" (1972-1998) as the previous "modern era" record was fifteen seasons, first established by Darrell Waltrip (1975-1989), later equalled by Dale Earnhardt (1982-1996) and tied by Rudd in 1997! It is interesting to note that once Rudd first took a Winston Cup victory in 1983, he hasn't had a season without a win! The all-time record streak? Eighteen (18) consecutive seasons with at least one win, 1960-1977, achieved by Richard Petty! Like Rudd's streak, this streak also began with "The King's" breakthrough victory year! Rudd's win was his first on a "short-track" since April 27, 1986, also at Martinsville! Rudd's team has won at least one race for five consecutive seasons, 1994-1998! Its first four wins were on "miles" (1994 New Hampshire, 1995 Phoenix, 1996 Rockingham, 1997 Dover) before the 1997 Brickyard 400 win at Indy and 1998's Martinsville victory! Only two other driver/entrant competitions also have 1994-1998 streaks of seasons with at least one Winston Cup win: the Hendrick Racing duo of Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte! Rusty Wallace has a seven-season win streak with Penske Racing (1991-1997) but without a win in 1998 this streak will end! The longest current "entrant" win streak is thirteen consecutive seasons, by Hendrick Racing (1986-1998). Jay Sauter (GM Goodwrench RCR Chevrolet) won Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Martinsville. The victory was Sauter's first of 1998 and the second of his career! The RCR team is the only the fourth team in NCTS to have scored at least one victory in each (1995-1998) season! RCR joins Earnhardt Racing (Ron Hornaday, Jr.), ASE/Smith Racing (Mike Bliss), and Hendrick Racing (Terry Labonte 1995, Jack Sprague 1996-1998) in achieving the feat! Bob Senneker (Precision Ford Thunderbird) won the ASA AC-Delco Challenge's 1998 season finale, the North Carolina Sweet Potato 400 at Southern National Speedway! The win was Bob's second of 1998 and the 85th of his career as he has finally exceeded his car number, 84! While Ford won the race, the Bowtie Brigade won the battles as Gary St. Amant (Wynns Chevrolet Monte Carlo) won the 1998 series title with Schrader Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo pilot Scott Hansen, the season's leading racewinner, the point runnerup and Jimmie Johnson (Herzog Chevrolet Monte Carlo) the 1998 Pat Schauer Rookie of the Year! Brian Simo (Valvoline Racewerx Ford Mustang Cobra) won Sunday's Pikes Peak Raceway round of the 1998 NTB Trans-Am Series. The victory came in Brian's sixtieth start in the series! Simo won "flag to flag" from the pole, leading all 73 laps of the event! He won by 2.4849 seconds over rookie Ross Thompson (I-Dream Software Ford Mustang Cobra). Thompson's runnerup finish was his career-best in the Trans-Am! Leighton Reese was third in his Phillips 66 Pontiac Grand Prix! Again, however, while the Blue Oval won the race the Bowtie Brigade took the season honors (with one race remaining!) as Paul Gentilozzi (AutoLink Rocketsports Chevrolet Corvette) won his first Trans-Am title with a seventh-place finish and Chris Neville (ARCO Derhaag Chevrolet Camaro) won the Rookie of the Year honors with a fourth-place finish! Stuart Hayner (Westward Ho! Chevrolet Camaro) finished eighth and set Fast Lap for the third consecutive event! Gentilozzi is the fifth Chevrolet Corvette driver to win the Trans-Am title but the first since Eppie Wietzes in 1981! Prior to Wietzes and Gentilozzi, the Corvette-piloting Trans-Am champions were Gene Bothello in 1979 Category I, Greg Pickett in 1978 Category II (overall), and John Greenwood in 1975! Simo was 1998's fourth first-time Trans-Am "breakthrough" winner, joining Lime Rock racewinner Lou Gigliotti, Cleveland and Grand Rapids victor Bill Saunders, and Road America winner Stuart Hayner! The four "breakthrough" winners in 1998 tie the record for most first-time winners in a season of the "current format" (1981-1998) "modern era" of Trans-Am racing, first set in 1983 and equalled in 1986 and 1989! 1983 produced four first-time winners: Gene Felton, David Hobbs, John Paul, Jr., and Willy T. Ribbs. 1986 saw Pete Halsmer, Chris Kneifel, Klaus Ludwig, and Scott Pruett make their first visits to Trans-Am's victory lane. Ron Fellows, Irv Hoerr, Max Jones, and Dorsey Schroeder took their first Trans-Am victories in 1989. In the "current format" (1981-1998) "modern era" of Trans-Am racing, there have been 38 first-time winners! Saturday's 1998 season finale in SCCA World Challenge action at Pikes Peak Raceway produced a record-setting fourth consecutive victory in T1 for Terry Borcheller (Saleen/Allen Ford Saleen Mustang)! Borcheller's fourth consecutive 1998 T1 win established an all-time World Challenge T1 record, bettering the three-race win streaks achieved in T1 by Lou Gigliotti in 1992 and Peter Cunningham in 1996-1997! Borcheller's fourth straight win tied the all-time, all-class World Challenge win streak record first established by David Murry in the 1995 Sports class! Borcheller won five of the nine 1998 T1 races to take the 1998 T1 title by 248 points to 199 for teammate Ron Johnson in a Saleen/Allen 1-2! Peter Cunningham placed third in points (Realtime/Comptech Acura NSX) at 185 with ViperSpeed Dodge Viper drivers Neil Hannemann and Bobby Archer fourth and fifth at 175 and 150 points, respectively. Archer and Hannemann finished 2-3 in the final race with Johnson seventh and Cunningham retiring with mechanical problems. The T1 race's 0.191-second victory margin was the closest of the 1998 World Challenge T1 season! Terry Borcheller did not compete in the first race of the 1998 T1 season; with his 1998 T1 championship title, he joined 1997 T1 champion Peter Cunningham as the only World Challenge titlists to score a season championship while missing one of the season's events! Pierre Kleinubing (Realtime/Comptech Acura Integra R) led teammate Michael Galati home in a team 1-2 in T2; Galati won the 1998 T2 title with 240 points over Kleinubing's 228! Lance Stewart (DC Sports Acura Integra R) finished third in points at 224 after retiring at Pikes Peak with mechanical problems. Michael Galati became the sixth driver to achieve multiple World Challenge season championships as his 1998 T2 title joined his 1996 T2 championship; he joins Peter Cunningham, Dave Jolly, and R.K. Smith at two titles apiece. The all-time leaders in multiple titles? Neil Hannemann and Lou Gigliotti with three each! Galati joined three other drivers with only one win in their World Challenge title seasons! Willy Lewis won the 1993 T1 title with one win in eight races, Peter Cunningham won the 1995 T2 title with one win in eight races, and Martin Snow won the 1996 S1 title with one win in three races. Galati's 11.1% racewinning percentage (one win in nine races) in 1998 T2 is the lowest for any World Challenge champion! Michael is only the fifth champion, and second in T2, to win the title without leading or tying for the lead in season victories! The Saleen/Allen Ford Saleen Mustang 1-2 in 1998 T1 points joins the Neil Hannemann-Willy Lewis Archer Eagle Talon 1-2 in 1995 as the only T1 1-2 point finishers driving the same marque and model! The 1998 Realtime/Comptech 1-2 in T2 is the first "team 1-2" ever in World Challenge T2! The Galati-Kleinubing-Stewart 1-2-3 finish in Acura Integra R entries in 1998 T2 marked the first 1-2-3 finish for a marque in T2 (Class C/Super Production) history, eclipsing the 1-2 finish by Honda Prelude drivers Galati and Taz Harvey in 1996! Kleinubing won three of the nine 1998 T2 races while teammate Galati won only once; Stewart took four victories as Realtime/Comptech and DC Sports tied with four wins each and Acura Integra R entries won eight of the nine events with BMW taking the other! AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEWINNERS AND CHAMPIONS ON CD ROM: OVER 37,000 QUESTIONS ANSWERED FOR A QUARTER OF A PENNY APIECE! Did you ever need the answer to a racing question? Who won a particular race? 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