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BGN Series Kenwood Home & Car Audio 300 Race Report: #88 Kevin Schwantz

20 October 1997

 #88 Kevin Schwantz, Ryder Driver Recruiting Chevrolet Monte Carlo
 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division
 Kenwood Home & Car Audio 300 Race Report
 California Speedway
 October 19, 1997


FONTANA, CA - Kevin Schwantz, driving the #88 Ryder Driver Recruiting 
Chevrolet Monte Carlo, was hoping for a top-10 finish in only his second 
NASCAR Busch Grand National race. Schwantz posted a fast lap time of 41.765 
seconds (172.393 mph) around CAlifornia Speedway's 2-mile oval to start 22nd 
in Sunday's Kenwood Home & Car Audio 300. Pole sitter Steve Park posted a 
fast lap time of 41.106 seconds (175.157 mph). 

The first caution of the day came out early, on lap 9 of the 150-lap event, 
when Jeff Krogh spun in Turn 4. Schwantz was right behind Krogh and brushed 
the wall as he went high to avoid the spinning #56 Chevrolet. The Ridling 
Motorsports crew decided to bring Schwantz in on lap 13 to look at the right 
side and check for a possible tire rub. "We didn't find anything," commented 
crew chief C.R. Miller. "We just wanted to make sure everything was OK for 
Kevin and to add fuel. We thought we would have long stretches of green flag 
racing once everyone settled down on the track and hoped we could gain track 
positions with the extra fuel."

Schwantz had piloted the #88 Ryder Driver Recruiting Chevrolet Monte Carlo 
from 36th into the lead on lap 70 since most of the teams had to come in for 
fuel and tires under green starting around lap 55. Just as crew chief C.R. 
Miller called for a green flag pit stop, Scott Lagasse spun in turn 4 
bringing out the third caution of the day on lap 74. 

Schwantz was running in eighth when the crew decided to make a gas and go pit 
stop on lap 135. After returning to the field in 13th place, Schwantz noticed 
smoke coming into the car on lap 139. He radioed to the crew that the oil 
pressure and water temperature looked fine, but there was a problem of some 
kind. On lap 141, NASCAR black flagged Schwantz so the crew could determine 
the cause of all the smoke. On close inspection on pit row, the team 
discovered the wheel bearing had caught on fire. With only nine laps left in 
the race, there was no time to make repairs. Schwantz ended the day in 31st 
place, nine laps down to winner Todd Bodine. "I'm disappointed we didn't get 
to finish the race," said Schwantz after the race. "We had a great run going. 
The crew really hustled on our pit stops. We were on our way to a top-10 
finish today. But that's racin' as they say."

Several Team Ryder partners displayed decals on the #88 Ryder Driver 
Recruiting Chevrolet Monte CArlo Sunday. Representatives from Ryder RTS 
clients Pepsi and Klaussner Furniture of CA, Inc., joined Ryder ATE-MLS 
client Foothill Transit at the track for an exciting day at the races to 
watch Kevin Schwantz and the Ryder Race Team.