QUAKER STATE TO SPONSOR MARTIN: Mark Martin will have Quaker State on the hood for four events next season as the Shell company announced a renewal and expansion of the current partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. THE ONE HE'S GLAD HE LOST:...
QUAKER STATE TO SPONSOR MARTIN: Mark Martin will have Quaker State on the hood for four events next season as the Shell company announced a renewal and expansion of the current partnership with Hendrick Motorsports.
THE ONE HE'S GLAD HE LOST: It's not often you hear a driver say he's glad he didn't win a race, but Jeff Gordon did just that Saturday in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center.
Gordon was asked to reflect on his photo-finish loss to Kevin Harvick in March 2001, just three weeks after Dale Earnhardt had died in a crash at the Daytona 500.
"At the time, I was really wanting to be the spoiler," Gordon said. "Looking back, it was a special moment for our sport. It was just meant to be. Now I'm kind of glad I didn't win that race that day."
That race and its thrilling photo finish was recently recognized as one of the most memorable moments in Atlanta Motor Speedway's 50 years of racing.
TIRE THOUGHTS: There won't be many drivers passing up the opportunity to get tires this weekend, and you can count Jeff Gordon among them.
"This track right now is very abrasive and wears tires very quick," Gordon said. "You're taking a real gamble if you stay out. I think if you stay out on tires you're going to get beat."
WANT A WEEKEND OFF?: Greg Biffle joked Saturday that he was hoping to clinch a spot in the Chase for the Championship this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway so he could take next weekend off.
"(My crew) thought it sounded like a good idea," Biffle said. "Not sure what the sponsors would think, though."
SCHIZO STUFF: There are a few givens at Atlanta Motor Speedway: It's going to be fast, it's going to have a lot of racing lines, and there's a good chance for a photo finish. But Jeff Burton said Saturday that Atlanta Motor Speedway also has a couple of factors that are always changing.
"This race track has a bigger split personality from qualifying to racing of anywhere we go," Burton said. "Qualifying is so fast, crazy fast. And then you get 20 laps into the race and you're like 'my God, you cannot believe how slow it gets.' To me, that's what's fun about it. Because the track is so slick, small changes make a big difference in how the car drives."