Join The ClubNASCAR Winston Cup crew chiefs Jimmy Makar, Larry McReynolds, Todd Parrott, and Robin Pemberton founded the Crew Chief Club in 1998 with the goal to provide fans with an insider's look behind shop walls and into the confines of the NASCAR garage. Crew Chief Club members are accessible to fans at races and special events, the media, and on their Web site at www.crewchiefclub.com. The intention of the Crew Chief Club is to display and promote their dedication to the drivers, the teams, and the sport.

The 2000 racing season involves some new partners and a new recognition program for race-team crew members. Action Performance Companies, The Motorsports Decision Group, and the Crew Chief Club have developed an industry recognition awards program to honor achievements and performance of NASCAR Winston Cup Series pit crew members called the Achievement Awards for Outstanding Race Team Crew Members. A selection committee comprised of drivers, track owners/promoters, motorsports media, award program sponsors, and race fans will evaluate candidates from 12 team positions on a variety of criteria such as speed, performance, leadership, and teamwork. Top performers will be named members of the Chase Racing All-Stars Team at an annual awards ceremony. "Not only does the criteria promote the foundation of the sport, but it also provides an incentive for all team members in the garage," Makar says. "It gives these guys a chance to shine as individuals in their respective positions while adding to the success and recognition of their teams."

To learn more about the club or to become a fan club member, visit www.crewchiefclub.com.

Talladega Auto Fest 2000The Talladega Auto Fest 2000, a first-class auto show event developed to generate interest in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, will take place June 16-18 at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Alabama. The weekend includes a judged auto show, a swap meet, a flea market, and a vendor's row. The First-Place Grand Prize winner will receive a NASCAR lover's dream package: two grandstand passes to the Winston 500, two pit passes, two VIP hospitality passes, and two meals complete with beverages. The Second-Place winner will take home two NASCAR grandstand tickets for the Lowe's race in Charlotte. Family activities include arts and crafts, hot-air balloon and pony rides, a moonwalk, and much more. The event is sponsored by Auto Custom Carpets. For more information, call 877/CARSHOW.

Circle Track Writer Wins Prestigious AwardThe 1999 Miller Lite Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence in honor of Russ Catlin were presented to five journalists at the January Lowe's Motor Speedway NASCAR Media Tour. Circle Track contributor Bruce Martin received the Russ Catlin Award in the category "Print Media, Other" for the the story "The Empire Strikes Back" (June '99 Circle Track), an in-depth story about superstar team owner, businessman, and product engineer Jack Roush. Other '99 award winners are Juliet Macur (The Orlando Sentinel), Donald C. Schick (RPM 2Night), Chuck Howard (WCNC-TV, Charlotte), and Jim Fluharty (NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated). Bruce Martin also won the Russ Catlin Award in 1987.

Martin began his tearful acceptance speech with high emotion as he said, "You like me; you really, really, like me." And then he proceeded to hug everybody in the room until security intervened.

Actually, he wasn't in the room when Rusty Wallace presented the award, but Circle Track Editor David Miller saved the day and accepted the award on Martin's behalf. Martin did have this to say about the award (really): "I kind of feel like the Terry Labonte of the Russ Catlin Awards." (Labonte's two championships-1984 and 1996-were separated by roughly the same amount of time as Martin's Russ Catlin Awards.)

Where To Send Info:Here at Circle Track, we really like receiving letters and photos from our readers and will try to publish as many of them as possible. If you (or somebody you know) is a local hero and deserves a little national recognition, send a letter with a 4x6 photo to Circle Track, Local Heroes Dept., 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Please note, we are unable to return the photos.

Where To Send Info:Do you qualify to be in Circle Track's First Wins section? Any driver who recently took his or her first win in a particular series qualifies. Follow the format we used and include: name, series, driver, car, hometown, 4x6 photo, and brief description of what it took to get to Victory Lane. Send everything to Circle Track, First Wins Dept., 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. We are unable to return any photos or information.