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HE'S MIGHTY, MIGHTY: GORDON'S BRICKYARD WIN GOOD FOR $1M
Published August 3, 1998
Jeff Gordon won Saturday's NASCAR Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), and earned a $1M bonus from series sponsor Winston for getting to the winner's circle after finishing in the top five in May's Winston Cup race in Charlotte, according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS. Gordon's "monstrous paycheck" for the day came to $1.6M, the largest single-day check in motorsports history (STAR-NEWS, 8/2). Including Saturday's payday, Gordon's career earnings are at $20.3M, and he trails only Dale Earnhardt on NASCAR's all-time money list (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/2). In Chicago, Dave Van Dyck wrote that NASCAR officials should "lay in bed at night, counting their lucky stars" for Gordon, who "is to NASCAR what Michael Jordan is to the NBA." Van Dyck: "[Gordon's] heavy foot and level head have helped zoom the sport into an unequaled state of popularity" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/2). NOTES: The race was a sellout, drawing a crowd of "about" 320,000 (AP, 8/2)....In Indy, Robin Miller reviewed ABC's broadcast of the race under the header, "ABC's Coverage Proves Timely, Insightful." Miller wrote that announcer Benny Parsons and pit reporters Bill Weber and Dr. Jerry Punch "have raised the level" of the net's coverage, and added that ABC's cameras "didn't miss much" (STAR-NEWS, 8/2)....NASCAR President Bill France gave the opening command in the race in recognition of NASCAR's 50th anniversary season. It marked the first time someone not in the Hullman family gave the command at IMS (ENQUIRER, 8/2). SHE'S A BARBIE GIRL: The new NASCAR Barbie doll, which made its debut this weekend and hits stores in September, "represents a corporate reach for one of the few markets previously untouched by NASCAR." Several drivers, including Kyle Petty and Dick Trickle, are lined up to assist in the Barbie sales push. Trickle, on the new doll, which will retail for about $40: "I like it. There's no rule ... that it has to be a man driving our cars. Maybe one day, some little girl who gets one of these will be out here racing." Petty: "I really hoped she'd have the same earrings I do. Obviously, I'm disappointed" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 8/1).