Friday March 2, 2007

By Phil Smith                                                         

Twenty years ago in 1987, Alan Kulwicki took the Winston Cup pole at Richmond but it was Dale Earnhardt who took the win over Geoff Bodine.

Fifteen years ago in 1992, Harry Gant came from the back to win the Grandnational event. Bill Elliott won the Winston Cup event by 18 inches over Alan Kulwicki. Jeff Fuller made his Winston Cup debut and finished 14th.

Ten years ago in 1997, qualifying for Winston Cup and Busch Grandnational divisions at Richmond was rained out. Both events would be started based on points. Jeff Burton started 41st and dominated most of the Busch GN event that is until the last lap, when Jason Keller wailed him. After taking the lead, Keller went into turn three too hard and while he was trying to regain control, allowed Mark Martin to scoot by and take the win. Jeff Green ended up second after Burton and Keller spun together while in sight of the finish line. Ted Christopher started 40th and ended up 17th, three laps down. In Winston Cup action, Rusty Wallace took the win after almost being wrecked by Jeff Gordon. Dale Jarrett finished second.

Five years ago in 2002, NASCARís elite divisions, the Winston Cup and Busch Grandnationals, were in Las Vegas. Jeff Burton was the BGN winner and Sterling Marlin won the Winston Cup event over Jeremy Mayfield.

Last year, 2006, February 28, was the day that Terry Eames was to be in court in reference to his failure to make mortgage payments on a $1.7 million loan with the Washington Mutual Bank, which had headquarters in Seattle, Wash. Eames claimed that the suit that had been filed in court was no big deal, just of lawyers filing papers in court. Eames made no secret that he was in need of revenue as he stated that he was looking to sell some acreage, which was part of the Speedbowl property. He was adamant that the Speedbowl would open on schedule despite the many rumors circulating that his coffers were empty.

In NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series news it was announced that Mike Christopher would drive the Bear Motorsports No.14 in all events during 2006. Christopher formerly drove the Hillís Enterprises No.79. Dennis Charette would enter the Connecticut tour events. Ricky Fuller was strolling and on patrol at Racearama and was still without a ride for the upcoming season.

In some sad news it was learned that former driver Bobby Sprague was gravely ill with lung cancer and could use some cheering up. Sprague raced and won for years at the Seekonk Speedway and at the Norwood Arena.

The NASCAR Busch Series was in Mexico where Denny Hamlin took the win. The Nextel Cup competitors had the weekend off.

Thatís about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 E-mail:

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various other publications
 for over 3 decades.

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