NASCAR Winston Cup Pontiac News
28 September 1997MARTINSVILLE, VA -- Pontiac Race teams will get a new front fascia for the 1998 racing season. The fascia is the part of the car from the front of the fender forward and includes the bumper and headlight housing etc. The change will be minor and isn't perceived to have any great advantage over what they are currently running.
The Pontiac division will remain status quo in who runs the Grand Prix - with the exception of the #97 John Deere which will be switching to Ford next year. The reason for the switch to Ford seems to be as much dollar related as any political reasons mentioned.
Pontiac did go trolling for new talent for next year but no one decided that the change was worth it. One notable target was Ricky Rudd and the Rudd Performance Motorsports team. Rudd, after some consideration, decided he'd hang with Ford. That makes it three times now that Rudd has said no thanks to the Pontiac.
The only Pontiac team without a confirmed driver is the #43 that Bobby Hamilton will be vacating at the end of the '97 season. There are a number of possibilities of who could take that ride but John Andretti's name seems to keep surfacing when talking about the open seat of the #43. Some may recall that Andretti had that ride before he went with Cale Yarborough.
I asked around to see if the recent rule changes have helped the Pontiacs performance in general. While a number of folks said it was helpful the lingering feeling seemed to be, "it's gunna take more than that to get 'em to run worth a lick."
Mike Snow -- The Auto Channel