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ARA RaceFacts Bulletin (2/22/98)

23 February 1998


FEBRUARY 22, 1998

	Jeff Gordon (DuPont Hendrick Chevrolet Monte Carlo) won
Sunday's Rockingham GM Goodwrench Service Plus 400 NASCAR
Winston Cup race with six Ford Tauruses following him home! 
The lead Taurus, the Penske Miller entry of Rusty Wallace,
gave Wallace the 1998 Winston Cup point lead with the
runnerup finish coupled with his fifth-place result in the
Daytona 500.
	Since taking his first Winston Cup race win in 1994,
Jeff has now taken a win in five consecutive seasons!  Jeff
has won 30 of the 126 1994-1998 Winston Cup events, or
	Why take the decimal points out to five places? 
Because of an uncanny statistic!  Herb Thomas took his first
NASCAR Winston Cup win in 1950 and continued to post at
least one win in every season through 1956; more
importantly, in Herb's first five consecutive seasons of
Winston Cup race wins, 1950-1954, Thomas won 40 of the 168
races, or 23.80952%!  Of course, Jeff Gordon has thirty more
races left in 1998, and may or may not remain "on pace" with
Thomas' percentage or raw victory pace for the similar
period in his career!
	In the "modern era" (1972-1998) of Winston Cup racing,
the closest parallel to Gordon's first five CONSECUTIVE
racewinning years' win total was achieved by Bill Elliott;
Bill first won in 1983, and consecutive racewinning seasons
through 1987 produced 23 wins.  Darrell Waltrip first won in
1975 and his five consecutive racewinning seasons through
1979 produced 22 wins.
	Matt Kenseth (Lycos Robbie Reiser Chevrolet Monte
Carlo) scored a dramatic upset victory in Saturday's
Rockingham GM Goodwrench Service Plus 200 NASCAR Busch Grand
National event!  Matt edged leading 1998 BGN Rookie of the
Year contender Tony Stewart (Shell Gibbs Pontiac Grand Prix)
in a battle to become a first-time BGN racewinner!
	Kenseth placed 22nd in 1997 NASCAR Busch GN points and
was runnerup for 1997 BGN Rookie of the Year honors to Steve
Park (third in overall points).  However, the raw statistics
do not tell the whole story, as Kenseth competed in only 21
of the 30 1997 BGN events; his average point score for the
21 events projected to 30 races would have ranked him
seventh in 1997 BGN points!
	Kenseth is a veteran of Midwest short track late model
competition; Matt concentrated on the ARTGO series from 1990
through 1994, ranking 18th in 1990 ARTGO points, sixth in
1991, ninth in 1992, 18th in 1993 and 12th in 1994.  He took
his first ARTGO win on June 18, 1991 at LaCrosse; he won two
ARTGO races in 1993 (June 26 Dickinson County, October 10
LaCrosse), two ARTGO races in 1994 (September 17 Wisconsin
International, September 18 Madison International), and took
ARTGO victory in 1995 (July 12 at LaCrosse).  Matt also won
the July 15, 1995 Wisconsin International event of the
annual "Red, White & Blue" Late Model classic.  Kenseth
concentrated in 1996 on the USAR Hooters Cup Late Model
series, placing third in points.
	In limited efforts, Matt ranked 47th in NASCAR ALL-PRO
points in 1994, 29th in 1995 and 43rd in 1996, as well as
93rd in 1996 NASCAR Busch Grand National points.
	Kenseth's Rockingham BGN victory ended a four-race
Rockingham BGN win streak for Mark Martin, Roush Racing, and
Ford!  The most recent previous Chevrolet Rockingham BGN win
was scored by Todd Bodine on October 21, 1995.
	Kenseth's win brought the total of wins by "BGN"
drivers (those not active at the time or previously in
Winston Cup) to six in thirty Rockingham BGN races. 
Previous "BGN driver" wins were scored by Sam Ard (1984),
Brett Bodine (1985), Rob Moroso (1989), Steve Grissom (1990)
and Ward Burton (1992).  Chad Little and Todd Bodine were
the 1995 Rockingham BGN racewinners but had considerable
prior experience in Winston Cup although they were primarily
BGN competitors in 1995.
	Kenseth became the 17th driver to win in the 30
Rockingham BGN events.  Mark Martin leads in Rockingham BGN
wins with nine; Dale Earnhardt has four, Harry Gant and
Morgan Shepherd two apiece.
	Ford still leads in Rockingham BGN victories with 10;
Pontiac has seven, Buick and Chevrolet five apiece and
Oldsmobile three.
	Matching the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup performance of its
Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Chevrolet's Camaro has now won the
first two 1998 NHRA Funny Car events!  In the first
all-Camaro Funny Car final ever, Chuck Etchells (Kendall
Oil) defeated Ron Capps (Copenhagen), the winner of the

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