Henry's Rumblings (commentary)

NASCAR Fans E-mail List It's really getting to be old hat seeing that ...

NASCAR Fans E-mail List

It's really getting to be old hat seeing that #24 take the Checkers. Today it was career win #26, tying Jeff Gordon with a Golden Boy of another era, Fred Lorenzen, for 18th on the all-time win list. With this inaugural victory at Penske West, since the Pepsi 400 of July 1, 1995 (2 years), Gordon has now won 21 of those 64 races....he's winning every 3rd week. Pretty strong in any league......

We talk all the time about the importance of getting those valuable WC points, but it means just as much to the guys in the back of the field as it does to those fighting for those Top-25 money spots at year-end. Lets look at how much the points cost one driver this week. Remember who finished last at Michigan....only completed 1 lap before a broken motor put him out of commission. It was Kenny Wallace. Well, Kenny missed the race this week because his team was 35th in WC Owner Points, and Dick Trickle's was 34th. Kenny missed this race by 16 points...thats only 6 spots. Had he been able to run only 37th last week, he'd have raced today, gotten more points, probably would have won about $25-30K, and gotten his sponsor on National TV from the 2nd biggest market in the country. Looks like those points mean a lot (and that last week was awful expensive for the #81 team).

Years from now when NASCAR is covered like the NFL, we may look back on this week with bittersweet memories. We've moved back into Southern California where we belong, but this week may also mark the beginning of the end for the Winston in Winston Cup. No matter what you feel about tobacco, we owe a lot of what we love to RJR...and no government agency will be able to take that away from us. If they wanna protect us from something, maybe they should consider a warning label prior to the State of the Union address <G>.

Wally Dallenbach led for the first time today since Watkins Glen in August of 1995....he's the 37th different driver to lead a lap this season.

Jimmy Spencer had his first Top-5 of the season today.....Jeff Green had his career best finish with a 7th place run. There have now been 22 drivers to score a Top-5 (vs 27 in '96), and 33 to record a Top-10 (vs 38 in '96).

STREAKIN.....Jeff Gordon has 8 Top-5's in the last 9 races. Mark Martin has 9 Top-10's in a row.

Ted Musgrave continues to come on strong...he's now got 3 Top-10's in a row. That team has got a good chance of breaking their maiden real soon.

This weeks elevator....UP: The Operator of the Week is Ricky Rudd (+36), Steve Grissom (+24), and Dick Trickle (+20). DOWN: The big dropper is a tie...Ernie Irvan & Wally Dallenbach (-35), Ken Schrader (-29), and Geoff Bodine (-29).

The big movers in the points this week were Spencer (22nd to 18th), and Ricky Craven (29th to 26th). The only move down of any significance was Irvan (13th to 16th).

We've got a week off, then it's that mid-summer soiree at the Beach. Pack lots of Pepsi & sunscreen.....you're gonna need it (at least till they get those lights installed).

henry@nascarfans.com

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Dick Trickle , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Ted Musgrave , Ricky Craven , Steve Grissom , Mark Martin , Fred Lorenzen