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FROM THE FAR TURN AT TALLADEGA TO THE FAR EAST
Published December 1, 1995
The first of three NASCAR demonstration races scheduled in Japan over the next three years will be held November 24, 1996, on the 1.4-mile Suzuka Circuitland race course in Suzuka City. NASCAR President Bill France and Suzuka Circuitland President Takashi Matsuda made the announcement yesterday. In a filmed speech, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Walter Mondale said the agreement is an opportunity for the two societies to better understand each other and that it will also help the American auto industry. The cars running in Japan will be from the Winston Cup, Winston West and Busch Grand National circuits. Honda has announced it will build a 1.5-mile oval outside Tokyo, which France said NASCAR expects to race on in '98. Former NASCAR Champion Rusty Wallace said it is good to race "somewhere new," but he noted there are still places in the U.S. that want NASCAR racing (Sandra McKee, Baltimore SUN, 12/1). In Ft. Worth, John Sturbin notes Japan invitations will be sent to approximately 30 drivers, but France said no decisions have been made on who will go (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/1). GORDON MAKES THE ROUNDS: NASCAR Winston Cup Champ Jeff Gordon appeared on the "Late Show" with David Letterman last night and on "Good Morning America" this morning. On "Late Night," Gordon made a grand entrance by parking his stock car (all sponsors showing) out front and then running into the studio. Gordon promised to give Letterman one of his cars if he came to his little race track in Charlotte (CBS, 11/30). This morning, Gordon drove during NYC rush hour with a camera crew ("GMA," ABC, 11/30).