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Cars 'n' Stars: The Colonel Heads For NASCAR (Finally), NHRA Standings After Denver, Ford Doubles Customer Rebates On 5 Models

22 July 1997

Kentucky Fried Chicken is going NASCAR with Darrel Waltrip's Team Twister which consists of a Chevy to be driven by Kenny Irwin in the Busch series, Rich Bickle doing his bow tie thing in Winston Cup, and Mike Skinner racing a Chevrolet pickup in the Craftsman Truck series. The "twister" moniker comes from KFCs new Chicken Twister lunch. The teams debuts July 31 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

NHRA standings after last weekends Mile High Nationals show:


1 Gary Scelzi                Fresno, Ca                    1109 pts
2 Joe Amato                  Exeter, Pa                     919
3 Cory McClenathan           Anaheim, Ca                    762
4 Scott Kalitta              Ypsilanti, Mi                  739
5 Kenny Bernstein            Richardson, Tx                 688

1 John Force                 Yorba Linda, Ca                931
2 Whit Bazemore              Indianapolis                   779
3 Chuck Etchells             Putnam, Ct                     746
4 Cruz Pedregon              Moorpark, Ca                   701
5 Randy Anderson             Ontario, Ca                    677


1 Jim Yates                  Alexandria, Va                1061
2 Warren  Johnson            Sugar Hill, Ga                 997
3 Kurt Johnson               Sugar Hill, Ga                 878
4 Bruce Allen                Arlington, Tx                  667
5 Steve Schmidt,             Indianapolis                   602

Ford Motor company has announced huge increases in customer rebates for five 1997 models: Taurus/Sable, $1,500; Crown Victoria, $1,500; Contour/Mystique, $1,000; T-Bird/Cougar, $1,000; Aspire, $1,000 . . . until October 1, 1997.

Because he is peeved at the SCCA, for suing his ProSportsCar Racing group over name infringement, boss man Andy Evans says he will start a new series to compete with the established Trans Am Sedan series. He will call his new unit The United States Road Racing Stock Car Championship . . . doesn't quite have the ring that Tans-Am has. I wonder where Evans is going to get enough cars to fill the grid. Even the Trans Am struggles for recognition with no big name drivers aside from Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder competing, and their cars cost beaucoup dinaros. Tube frame and all that good stuff.

There's a rumor going round that PSCR is late with race pay outs for Watkins Glen and Lime Rock.

The auto race track buying frenzy continues to escalate as the ISC (International Speedway Corp) has now added Phoenix International Raceway to its portfolio and now owns, Daytona, Talledega, Watkins Glen, and Tucson Raceway Park.

Davey Hamilton holds the IRL points lead by virtue of his third place finish at Pikes Peak. IRL star Jim Guthrie is out of the hospital and getting ready for Charlotte, as is Scott Sharp, who suffered a subdural brain hemmorhage in the Samsonite 200. The crowd for the Charlotte IRL race may be surprising--on the high side. During open practice recently when it got dark and night fell, some of the fans still wanted to stay in the stands.

It's going to be Taurus on the NASCAR circuit in 1998 replacing the dropped T-Bird model. Wind tunnel tests by Penske and Jack Roush are in the works, and we wonder if we might see a new 2-door Taurus.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway with 110,000 seats (about 60,000 of which have yet to be occupied) will have a Winston Cup race in 1998, if current negotiations work out for the Bahre brothers.

Lola cars is having a bad year. Practically noone in CART wants to use the obsolete Indy type race cars. Lola made some updates recently in an attempt to sell some more chassis, but according to team owner John della Penna the changes made no improvement in handling or downforce.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel