RUMBLINGS -- PHOENIX
How impressive was that 88 car today? When was the last time you saw a driver come from virtually a lap down to dominate the race? I haven't seen anything like that since Bill Elliott did it 10 years ago at 'Dega.
Dale Jarrett assumed the lead on lap 240, and for the next 73 laps, school was out. This was career win #15 for DJ, tying him for 36th on the all-time list. He's grabbed 7 wins this year, and has 11 in the last 62 races.
Had to be a pretty helpless feeling for Rusty Wallace....he could see Jarrett coming for laps, and there wasn't a thing he could do about it.
Isn't irony ironic? (G) Ricky Craven makes the race on a fluke rule, and after he's given the 43rd starting spot....he finishes 43rd. TNN likes to talk about the storylines of the day, but I think the story of the weekend was the fact that Butch Gilliland didn't even attempt to qualify for a race where he had a guaranteed spot. It certainly would have been interesting to hear that question being answered.
The time has come for NASCAR to do away with these "combo" events. They threw a party and nobody came. Kinda interesting considering that at Sears Point in May there were 3 Winston West drivers to make the race (2 via provisionals) and another 8 who were DNQ's. I'm assuming most of the teams preferred to save their equipment for Las Vegas next week, but with last place worth about $11K (and national TV time), you'd think there would have been a few takers in the WW Top-10.
Ken Schrader (4th) tied his best finish for the season today. Johnny Benson (7th) did the same.
Todays result clinches a Winners Circle spot for the #43 for 1998. The #98 of Cale Yarborough Motorsports is still on the bubble.
STREAKIN....Dale Earnhardt has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
This week's elevator....UP: Kyle Petty (+25) is this week's operator, Jeff Burton (+23), and Bill Elliott (+21). DOWN: The big dropper is a ties between Lake Speed (-27) & Dick Trickle (-27), and Rick Mast (-26).
Dale Jarrett & Mark Martin got just about all they could ask for today. A month ago, they had to be hoping to just get to Atlanta and still be in contention, and they're still in the hunt. Gordon's magic number is 18.
The rest of the points race stays tight....especially that last "stage" spot. 10th to 13th is now separated by 45 points.
The only 2 position move upward in the points this week went to Bobby Hamilton (17th to 15th). John Andretti fell 3 spots (20th to 23rd), and Ricky Rudd fell 2 spots (15th to 17th).
Well, we're down to cases. We take a week off to ponder just how fast we'll be at AMS, and see what NASCAR decides as far as slowing down the cars. There should be an announcement around the end of the week after they observe some testing. You can bet it will only please some of the drivers, some of the time.
Pull those straps down tight....the last ride of the year could be the wildest of them all.
Henry Dubret (email@example.com) _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com
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