Does 'luck' play a role in NASCAR?

DOES LUCK WIN NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIPS? KENNY WALLACE THINKS SO NASCAR RACEDAY ON SPEED ALSO EXAMINED INTANGIBLES IN PAST CHASES FOR the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP The NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED crew explored what role 'luck' has played in certain drivers...

DOES LUCK WIN NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIPS? KENNY WALLACE THINKS SO

NASCAR RACEDAY ON SPEED ALSO EXAMINED INTANGIBLES IN PAST CHASES FOR the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP

The NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED crew explored what role 'luck' has played in certain drivers winning their NASCAR Nextel Cup Series championships. Host John Roberts and driver Kenny Wallace discussed the topic prior to this weekend's race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway following interviews with NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers Casey Mears, Jamie McMurray and Jeff Burton.

Here is what was said on the most recent edition of NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED:

Question: What role does luck play in winning races within NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition?

Casey Mears: I think it plays a part in everybody's season. At Chicago, we had a strategy to stay out and made it all the way to the end, but ran out (of fuel) on the backstretch. I think it plays a big part in everybody's season, but I think some people tend to have more bad luck than others with the decisions they make.

Jamie McMurray: I believe you make your own luck in racing. If you put yourself in the right position with the right people, you tend to have good luck. If you don't, you tend to have bad luck. It seems like the same people always have luck on their side and visa versa.

Jeff Burton: Things have a way of equaling out. They may not equal out in a year, but they equal out over a career. Most drivers can't look back on their careers and say, 'You know I've had a career full of bad luck.' Or they can't say they've had a career full of good luck. It tends to come in cycles, I think. You can go through a year where things just don't do your way, and then you can go through years where things can go your way. The problem is, when things are going your way, we (as drivers) think it's because we're good. But when things aren't going your way, it's just bad luck. So I think we talk more about that then we ever talk about good luck.

John Roberts: Back in Tony Stewart's championship last year, there was a yellow flag that came out in that Homestead-Miami (Fla.) race that saved his rear end. He was about to run out of gas.

Kenny Wallace: J.R., I'm glad you brought up Homestead. Everybody had a lot to say there, but I disagree with a lot of it. There is luck that can change your career. I will tell you right now about luck. Let's go back to Kurt Busch (2004) when he won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series championship. When he enters pit road and his tire falls off, if it doesn't go out on the straightaway -- there's no caution -- he loses the championship and that defines his career. They forgot about that luck. It gave Kurt Busch his one and only championship so far. And I can tell you, it's defined his career. He's a champion because of luck.

John Roberts: Did you ever get a break like that out there, Kenny? Did you have some luck? Or some real bad luck?

Wallace: I've had both. Sometimes they even out. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes you have luck and you're doing your job as a driver and coming down pit road, but a lug nut hangs up or the jack drops or something goes wrong on the pit stop and you go home and say, 'why me?' Well, it wasn't you; it was a part that broke. You make your luck, but sometimes you have to bring up that factor. Danny Sullivan, when he won the Indy 500 (1985)? Is that luck? He spins out in the short chute and keeps going straight. If 99.9 percent of the people would have spun out like Danny Sullivan, they would have wrecked. Somehow he saved the car and went on. I guess that's good, huh?

SPEED, celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2006, is the nation's first and foremost cable network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 71 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest growing sports cable networks in the country and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services.

--www.SPEEDtv.com--

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Tony Stewart , Kenny Wallace , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray , Danny Sullivan