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NASCAR Winston Cup ITW DeVilbiss 400 Preview: #98, John Andretti

14 August 1997

 #98 John Andretti, RCA Ford Thunderbird 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 ITW DeVilbiss 400 Advance
 Michigan Speedway

BROOKLYN, MI - When RCA Racing truck driver Vance Howell loaded up the hauler 
and made the right hand turn onto pit road and out of Watkins Glen, he was 
embarking on his first post-race trip to the RCA Racing team's new home.

For years, the team has operated out of a cozy, three-building set-up near 
Charlotte Douglas Airport.

But this week, the team began working out of it's brand new building on 
Stough Road in Concord, NC, a few months later than expected, but better late 
than never.

The new modern facility offers space for meetings, a foyer and viewing area 
for visitors and room outside to practice pit stops, something that has 
become key for the RCA team with injuries and personnel changes throughout 
the season.

"It is going to take some time to get everything set-up the way it needs to 
be, but I think it is going to help everyone be more productive," team owner 
Cale Yarborough said. "This has been a long time coming. The two shops are 
like night and day."

The cars themselves are at the new shop, but the lengthiest part of the move 
will be transferring the motor department over. That could take another four 

"I was beginning to wonder if we would ever be here," driver John Andretti 
said. "This new shop will help so much. The team had already started hanging 
the bodies on the cars, something we used to farm out, but being able to do 
that in the new shop will be so much easier."

A phone call to the new shop yields a breathless hello from team members as 
they unpack and prepare for Michigan all at the same time.

The track that gave Andretti what was then his best Winston Cup career finish 
in 1995, has not been kind to Andretti and the RCA Racing Ford this season.

The RCA team took a brand new car to the 2.0-mile paved oval in June. That 
car turned out to be a dog. It took several attempts during the first morning 
of practice for Andretti to even complete a lap because the car was so 
unpredictable in the corners.

"At times I thought it had developed a mind of its own," Andretti said. "It 
skittered a lot in the corners and you could just never tell what it was 
going to do."

Andretti had to take a provisional to make the field and although it was far 
from perfect, he had worked his way up to 25th from 40th when the left 
caliper broke and the team was behind the wall for 26 laps making repairs.

"It was just one of those weekends where we were fighting with the car from 
the minute we unloaded," Andretti said. "I have run well here and I like this 
track, but this again is one of the types of tracks we don't do any testing 
on and sometimes it shows. I think we did learn a lot last time. We really 
went from one extreme to the other. We had a bad car, we fixed it so it was 
OK, and then went to the other end of bad and back again." 

2-16  Daytona Beach, FL         32     25     63,325   Running      25
2-23  Rockingham, NC            25     34     19,015   Running      32
3-2   Richmond, VA              22     31     20,615   Running      33
3-9   Atlanta, GA               33     15     31,805   Running      28
3-23  Darlington, SC            33     25     21,165   Running      30
4-6   Fort Worth, TX            30     12     80,300   Running      27
4-13  Bristol, TN               26     24     23,490   Running      27
4-20  Martinsville, VA          27     28     19,615   Running      25
5-4   Sonoma, CA                17     30     31,710   Running      26
5-10  Talladega, AL              1      4     57,920   Running      22
5-17  Charlotte, NC **          12      9      7,500   Running  ** Non-Points
5-25  Charlotte, NC             26     30     28,450   Running      24
6-1   Dover, DE                 23     29     25,490   Running      26
6-8   Pocono, PA                 9     40     17,265   Engine       26
6-15  Brooklyn, MI              40     37     21,890   Running      27
6-22  Fontana, CA               35     21     34,975   Running      27
7-5   Daytona Beach, FL          3      1    109,525   Running      24
7-13  Loudon, NH                 8     14     33,425   Accident     22
7-20  Pocono, PA                13     24     21,415   Running      22
8-2   Indianapolis, IN          35     17     80,095   Running      22
8-10  Watkins Glen, NY          30     20     24,885   Running      22



1997  Miller 400         40     37     174/200   21,890     Running

1996  Miller 400         23     24     198/200   21,580     Running
1996  Goodwrench 400     15     31     176/200   20,940     Accident

1995  Miller 400         21      4     200/200   31,375     Running
1995  Goodwrench 400      4     37      73/200   10,040     Engine

1994  Miller 400         33     36      94/200   12,026     Overheating
1994  Goodwrench 400      2     17     198/200   13,690     Running

By RCA Racing Public Relations