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The TACH Report: No More Daytona 24, BMW to Build SUV in U.S., Dale Armstrong Leaves Bernstein, IRL To Dover

22 September 1997

Bill France cancelled ProSportsCar's annual 24 Hours of Daytona season opener endurance race, because ProSportsCar boss-man Andy Evans topped France/Daytona's proposal to buy USAC by a half million dollars.

BMW has announced that it will assemble its new sports utility hybrid from the 5 series at its U.S. plant in Spartanburg, N.C., starting in the year 2,000. It will not be a version of the Mercedes M class, but will start a whole new segment.

After 14 years together, super crew chief Dale Armstrong is leaving the Kenny Bernstein drag racing stable. They parted amicably and said it was "lack of progress" that forced the split.

Also in NHRA, Don Prudhomme's Copenhagen sponsored Funny Car driven by Ron Capps continues to have problems. The team went out in the first round at Reading last week during the Keystone Nationals.

Tony George and the IRL are looking at the Dover De, Monster Mile as a possible venue for a 1998 race. Dover Downs currently hosts two NASCAR Winston Cup races to SRO attendance.

The world's biggest Mercedes-Benz dealership opens this coming weekend in Newport Beach, CA. Besides an inventory of 300 new MBs, the Fletcher Jones facility has: horse trails, kiddies playroom, physical fitness gym and instructor, restaurant, putting green, cappuccino bar, concierge and a mini-museum. Oh yes, they also sell and service cars--77 service bays.

At Loudon, NH last week the Ford teams in NASCAR Winston Cup received the new racing rules for 1998, including templates for the Taurus racer.

The 11th annual Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet open house takes place September 29 in Newton, NC.

AUTO-By-Tel an online car buying service that has been suspect re its marketing methods has been named in a fraud suit filed by AutoMall Online, Alexandria, Va.

The Porsche Boxster sticker goes up for 1998 from $39,400 to $41,675. A highlight of the California 500 this coming weekend at Roger Penske's palace of speed in Fontana, Ca will be historic Indy cars on parade, including Offy "uprights" and lay down roadsters, as well as mid-engine race cars. Top speed for today's Indy cars was set by Mo Gugelmin at 234 mph. Top speed at Michigan, set by Scott Pruett, is 233.857 mph.

The "Duel in the desert" is bogging down as the Land Speed Record cars are breaking down. Craig Breedlove hit 350 mph and broke a part and has to be overhauled, while Richard Noble's Thrust SSC hit 624 mph (record is 633) and then also broke.

All the Jaguar sedans for 1998 will be powered by V8s and the official on sale date is October 9, 1997.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel