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."
JIMMY SPENCER AT MARTINSVILLE YEAR EVENT START FINISH STATUS 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 JIMMY SPENCER'S 1998 NASCAR WINSTON CUP PERFORMANCE 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 4th 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