NASCAR Thunder Special Suzuka

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NASCAR Thunder Special Suzuka
NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Corporate sponsor Suzuka Circuit
First race 1996
Last race 1997
Distance 1996: 139.4 miles (224.3 km)
1997: 174.2 miles (280.3 km)
Laps 1996: 100
1997: 125
Previous names NASCAR Suzuka Thunder Special (1996)
NASCAR Thunder Special Suzuka (1997)

In 1996 and 1997, NASCAR held exhibition races on the East portion of the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Several Japanese, Australian and Winston West Series drivers participated among some of the Winston Cup Series regulars. In 1997, rain tires were used in NASCAR competition for the first time, being run in practice and qualifying. The races were broadcast on TBS in the U.S. The following year saw a race at Twin Ring Motegi.

Race winners[edit]

Year Date No. Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Pole speed (mph)
Laps Miles (km)
1996[1] November 24 2 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford 100 139.4 (224.342) 1:56:25 71.897 83.079
1997[2] November 23 31 Mike Skinner Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 125 174.25 (280.428) 2:20:22 74.537 80.608


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