Senior drivers getting a series to call their own next year

November 15, 1992|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

HAMPTON, GEORGIA — HAMPTON, Ga. -- Baseball has its old-timers games. Golf has its senior circuit. And now, motorsports will have the Fast Masters Championship, a six-race series for drivers 50 years and older.

"It looks really neat to me," said Bobby Allison, whose Winston Cup career ended three years ago in a near-fatal accident in Long Pond, Pa. "I'm really looking forward to getting in these cars and competing."

Allison, who participated in Buck Baker's driving school in Charlotte, N.C., last week, is one of 27 drivers committed to the series, which is being created by ESPN and will be shown live in six expanded Saturday Night Thunder broadcasts.

Fast Masters will originate from Indianapolis Raceway Park and feature some of the greatest names in motor racing competing in identically prepared Consuliers, a newly designed high-tech, turbo-charged sports coupe.

"What I like about it is I'm going to get to race against guys I've watched on television but have never even met before," said Benny Parsons, 51, NASCAR's 1973 Winston Cup champion. "And we're going to take it serious, because these are probably the last races we'll ever run."

"Will there be competition?" asked Johnny Rutherford, who won the IndyCar championship in 1980. "Do you remember watching these guys race who are going to be racing in this? It'll be fun and it won't be a demo derby, but I think there will be some real competition. You may see cars go places they never have before."

Among the other drivers who have commited are Parnelli Jones, Janet Guthrie, David Hobbs, Derek Bell, Pete Hamilton, Lloyd Ruby, Jackie Stewart and Donnie Allison.

XTC On the list of invitees who have not yet responded are A. J. Foyt Jr., Brian Redman, Paul Newman and Richard Petty.

There will be a total of 50 drivers, 10 for each of five rounds June 19 and 26 and July 10, 17 and 24. The top two competitors in each of the five preliminary rounds will compete in the championship final Aug. 14.

The competition will consist of a series of three heats of 10 laps each over IRP's oval and road courses.

More than $400,000 in prize money will be awarded, with $100,000 going to the series winner.

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