FALL BREAK '98: DAYTONA GETS RECORD CROWD FOR PEPSI 400
Despite its postponement in July due to forest fires
and a 36-minute rain delay Saturday, the first ever
nighttime running of the Pepsi 400 was "staged before a
record swarm of 180,000 spectators at Daytona International
Speedway" (Godwin Kelly, Daytona NEWS-JOURNAL, 10/18). In
Jacksonville, Mike Bianchi estimated the attendance to be
175,000: "No matter who won the race, the real star of the
show [Saturday] was the speedway itself and its new $5
million lighting system" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 10/18).
OTHER NIGHT RACES? Daytona International Speedway
President John Graham said the new lighting system "might
someday be put to use for the track's February events."
However, Graham added that he "doesn't think the Daytona 500
will move to the evening hours," but that some of the events
during February's Speed Weeks "could move into the evening
as early as the year 2000" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/18).
NO BULL IN VEGAS: Las Vegas Speedway "will replace"
Indianapolis Motor Speedway "as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
Company reprises" its Winston No Bull 5 program for the '99
season. The Las Vegas 500 on March 7 will join the Daytona
500 (February 14), the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor
Speedway (May 30), the Southern 500 at Darlington, SC,
(September 5) and the Winston 500 at Talladega, AL, (October
17) in next season's program. The top five finishers in
each of the program's races become eligible to race for the
$1M bonus in the following race (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/17).