The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

NASCAR BGN Series Jiffy Lube Miami 300 Report: #88, Kevin Schwantz

11 November 1997

 #88 Kevin Schwantz, Ryder Driver Recruiting Chevrolet Monte Carlo
 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division
 Jiffy Lube Miami 300 Race Report
 Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex
 November 9, 1997


HOMESTEAD, FL - Kevin Schwantz, driving the #88 Ryder Driver Recruiting 
Chevrolet Monte Carlo, posted his first top-10 NASCAR Busch Grand National 
finish at the Jiffy Lube Miami 300 on Sunday. Schwantz, who lead 39 of the 
200-lap event around the newly reconfigured 1.5-mile Homestead Motorsports 
Complex oval, finished eighth, his best finish in four NASCAR BGN starts.

After starting 17th, Schwantz had maneuvered the #88 Ryder Chevrolet into 
10th place by lap 12. Choosing to take advantage of track position, the 
Ridling Motorsports team decided to gamble on pit stops early in the race. 
While most of the field pitted after the third of six cautions came out on 
lap 38, Crew Chief C.R. Miller opted to stay out hoping for another caution 
period closer to the calculated fuel mileage window. Staying on the track 
allowed Schwantz to take the lead on lap 51. However, the much needed caution 
did not come, so Schwantz was forced to pit under green for tires and fuel on 
lap 90. Schwantz returned to the field one lap down in 31st position. 

"We were looking for another caution period so we could pit, but by lap 90, 
we had to come in for fuel," commented Miller after the race. "Kevin was 
running so well out there. I knew if we could get him on new tires, he would 
be unbeatable. We brought back 'Red Rock,' the car we won with last year. I 
was looking for another visit to Homestead's victory lane."

With new tires, Schwantz charged back on the lead lap by lap 138. Just as 
eventual race winner Joe Nemechek, Greg Sacks and Schwantz were exiting turn 
3 on lap 139, Sacks darted between Nemechek and Schwantz. Schwantz was unable 
to check up and tagged Sacks, sending both spinning for the fifth caution of 
the day. "I had nowhere to go," said Schwantz. "If I had checked up, there 
would have been a big mess as close as we were all running." Schwantz 
suffered cosmetic damage, but it was enough to keep him from winning the 

"I'm disappointed of course," stated Schwantz after the race. "We had a 
top-three car at the very least. I think we could have won today. But eighth 
is good, especially here in the Miami area which is Ryder's headquarters. The 
crew did a great job all weekend. They knew they had a good car and they gave 
me the confidence and support I needed. I'm really looking forward to working 
with this team over the winter and next year."

By Ridling Motorsports