ARA Racefacts Bulletin (May 10)
11 May 1998
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN MAY 10, 1998 Greg Moore (Players Forsythe Reynard 98I-Mercedes-Firestone) won the Rio round of the CART Fed Ex series Sunday over Honda's Alessandro Zanardi and Ford's Adrian Fernandez as the top three finishers remained the top three in the 1998 point standings, in the same order! The win was Mercedes' first in 1998 CART competition; as it came in the fifth race of the season, it marked the second-latest in a CART season for the first Mercedes win since the marque began competing in 1994! In 1994, Mercedes won in race four (Indy 500) but the event was actually the marque's first of the season in its "one-off" 1994 Indy 500 effort. Mercedes scored its first 1995 CART win in race number four as well and matched the feat in 1997! Only in 1996, when Mercedes was winless, has its first CART win come later in the season than in 1998. The 1998 CART score is now Ford two, Honda two, Mercedes one. The first five 1998 CART races have produced five winners! CART last achieved a five-race "season-opening" streak of different winners in 1995, when Jacques Villeneuve became the first multiple winner in race six (Indianapolis 500). The CART "season-opening" different-racewinner streak is six races, set in 1991, when Michael Andretti became the first multiple racewinner in race number seven. The 1987 and 1981 CART seasons also "opened" with five different winners, with Bobby Rahal become the first multiple racewinner in race six of the 1987 season and Rick Mears becoming the first multiple racewinner of 1981 in race six. Pontiac's Grand Prix won both NASCAR races held Saturday at New Hampshire! Buckshot Jones (Bayer/Alka-Seltzer Jones Pontiac Grand Prix) won the Gumout 200 NASCAR Busch Grand National event while Kelly Moore (Tic Tac Pontiac Grand Prix) won the 100 for the Grand National North competitors! Jones' win was his first of 1998 and the second of his career (joining Milwaukee 1996 scored in a Ford Thunderbird); he became the ninth racewinner in ten 1998 BGN events! Pontiac's two wins in the first ten 1998 BGN races marks its best racewinning record after 10 races of a BGN season since 1993, when Michael Waltrip won two of the first ten BGN events in a Grand Prix. During the 1990s, Pontiac's best performance during the first ten races of a BGN season came in 1990 and 1991, when Grand Prix entries won three of the first ten events of each season. Pontiac took one of the first ten victories in 1992 but was winless in the first ten BGN events of the 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 seasons! Pontiac's first 1997 BGN win didn't come until race #15 (May 31 at Dover) courtesy of Bobby Labonte. During the first five years (1982-1986) of the NASCAR Busch Grand National series, Pontiac won seven of the first ten events in both 1982 and 1983 and six of the first ten in 1984, 1985, and 1986! Moore's win was his third BGN North win at New Hampshire, joining victories in August 1993 and April 1994. In 1997, the four New Hampshire BGN North events saw Chevrolet score two wins, Ford and Pontiac one each. Moore is a BGN North veteran; he won at least one event in the series every year for nine consecutive seasons, 1987 through 1995! Jack Sprague (1-800-MARROW Hendrick Chevrolet) won Saturday's Evergreen NASCAR Craftsman Truck event as that series now has four winners in its first five 1998 events; Chevrolet leads Ford in the win column, 3 to 2. 1997 Craftsman Truck champion Sprague's first win of 1998 came in race five of the season, as did Mike Skinner's first race of 1996 when he was defending (unsuccessfully) the 1995 title. Ron Hornaday, Jr. won the second race of 1997 when defending (unsuccessfully) the 1996 title! Our website at http://members.aol.com/autoracg/ provides a wealth of useful and interesting auto racing information! The site also contains descriptions of the many services and products available from Auto Racing Analysis!