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NASCAR: Spencer/Team Winston Team Goody's 500 Notes

13 April 1998

"This is a big week for Team Winston because we feel like we've proven that we belong in the top 10 in points. Now the challenge is to be consistent." -- Jimmy Spencer, driver of the Team Winston Ford Taurus

Team Winston driver Jimmy Spencer scored his third top-10 finish of the season with an eight-place showing in last weekend's Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Spencer posted four top-10 finishes in all of 1997. Spencer's finish allowed Team Winston to remain 11th in the NASCAR Winston Cup points, just seven behind 10-place Johnny Benson.

Team Winston's No. 11 ranking in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings is the best among single-car teams. At this point last season, Spencer ranked 33rd in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings.

With his $106,350 Texas 500 payday, Spencer and Team Winston have topped the $100,000 mark in single-race winnings three times in seven NASCAR Winston Cup startts this year. Team Winston's 1998 winnings total is $528,170 -- 52 percent of last year's 32-race total of $1,016,109.

Spencer picked up his second Exide All-Charged Up award of the season, moving up 31 positions from his No. 39 provisional starting slot. Spencer, who also won the award at the Goodwrench 400 at Rockingham with a 25-position improvement, ranks second in the Exide All-Charged Up season standings.

George Freeman, a member of the Jimmy Spencer Fan Club, has volunteered to donate $100 to Spencer's favorite charity, Motor Racing Outreach, each time the Team Winston driver scores a top-10 finish. To date, Freeman has donated $300 to the charity.

"Maybe other fan club members would like to match this," Freeman said. "Jimmy is a top-10 contender, a great role model that young drivers can learn from and helps young fans understand that hard work and dedication given to whatever you do is worth it."

In addition, if Spencer finishes the NASCAR Winston Cup season in the top 10 in points, Freeman has committed to donate an additional $1,000 to MRO. Spencer has said he will match the $1,000 donation if he reaches the stage at the year-end NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet, to be held Dec. 4 in New York.

"It's just unbelievable that a fan would take such an interest and make a generous contribution like this," Spencer says. "I only hope I can do well enough to get him to donate about $3,000."

Spencer owns an 18.0 average finish at the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway, ranking the facility second among all NASCAR Winston Cup tracks where Spencer has registered 10 or more starts. Spencer has recorded two top-10 finishes and one top-five at NASCAR's oldest active facility. His third-place showing in the 1993 Goody's 500 was a career best on short tracks.

Jimmy Spencer Prior To Martinsville:

"I'm looking forward to Martinsville because we ran real well there both races last year. We qualified good in both and finished good in the spring race. We had a nice run going in the fall race, and then we broke a gear. It's just become a confidence thing with this team and Martinsville. We've gotten better and better over the years and know we feel like we can be competitive at that track.

"This is a big week for Team Winston because we feel like we've proven that we belong in the top 10 in points. Now the challenge is to be consistent. If you can run in the top 10 week in and week out, you're going to have some chances to win races. We've been successful and we're using that confidence.

"Texas was a great race for Team Winston. We didn't really know what we had because of not getting a final practice with the new engine. You have to be a little lucky, and we were by missing the first, big crash. We kept working our way to the front and making little changes. We got just about all we could out of the Team Winston Taurus, and we're very happy with the finish."


1990    Hanes 500       21st    11th    Running
1990    Goody's 500     29th    18th    Running
1991    Hanes 500       28th    6th     Running
1991    Goody's 500     21st    28th    Running
1993    Hanes 500       25th    30th    Engine
1993    Goody's 500     15th    3rd     Running
1994    Hanes 500       4th     18th    Running
1994    Goody's 500     28th    20th    Running
1995    Hanes 500       DNQ
1995    Goody's 500     27th    18th    Running
1996    Goody's 500     32nd    19th    Running
1996    Hanes 500       35th    19th    Running
1997    Goody's 500     11th    11th    Running
1997    Hanes 500       12th    33rd    Rear end


        Date    Track   Start   Finish  Money   Status  Pts.
        2/8     x-Daytona       13      1       $20,492 Running *
        2/8     y-Daytona       17      4       $30,008 Running *
        2/12    z-Daytona       7       4       $17,005 Running *
        2/15    Daytona 7       15      $116,255        Running 16th
        2/22    Rockingham      28      4       $45,120 Running 6th
        3/1     Las Vegas       29      7       $112,850        Running
        3/9     Atlanta 11      41      $27,975 Engine  T-10th
        3/22    Darlington      35      21      $31,405 Running 12th
        3/29    Bristol 26      14      $37,915 Running 11th
        4/5     Texas   39      8       $106,350        Running 11th
        x- Bud Shootout qualifier
        y- Bud Shootout
        z- Gatorade Twin 125s (First race)
        *Non-points Race