Stewart not relaxing; points leader plans triple-duty at RIR NEWS AND NOTES, Stewart a stalwart: Points leader running tripleheader at RIR ... Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) leads the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points and has been locked...
Stewart not relaxing; points leader plans triple-duty at RIR
NEWS AND NOTES,
Stewart a stalwart: Points leader running tripleheader at RIR ... Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) leads the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points and has been locked into the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup field for several weeks. But rather than back off and relax a bit with the Chase about to begin, Stewart is going full-speed this weekend. In addition to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, he'll race in Thursday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race (Cheerios-Betty Crocker 200) and Friday night's NASCAR Busch Series race (Emerson Radio 250).
"It just gives me some time on the race track and gives me a chance to get the feel that I want a little quicker than if I just got in the Cup car and started on Friday," Stewart said. "The extra track time certainly won't hurt me any."
In addition to Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Mike Wallace (No. 04 Lucas Chevrolet) are planning on three-race weekends.
Manufacturers' battle remains tight ... Chevrolet and Ford continue their tight battle for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Manufacturers' Championship. Ford leads 185-166, with Dodge at 124. Chevrolet has 13 wins this season, Ford 10.
From the Archives: Regarding Richmond, it's 50 years and counting ... Richmond International Raceway held its second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event more than 50 years ago, on May 2, 1955. At that time the facility was a half-mile dirt track known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Grounds.
Carl Kiekhaefer and his fearsome team of Chrysler 300s were in the midst of making a shambles of the NASCAR season. Kiekhaefer came into the sport of NASCAR racing like a whirlwind, hiring the best drivers and mechanics and fielding the best-prepared cars. His star driver was 1952 NASCAR champion Tim Flock, who came into the Richmond event with five victories for the season.
Pole qualifying was rained out allowing point leader Flock to start on the pole. Oldsmobile driver Jim Paschal started fourth and jumped to the front, leading Laps 1-58. Dick Rathmann and Paschal swapped the lead until Lap 78 when Flock took over for the rest of the event.
Fonty Flock, teammate to his brother, made a late race charge, but it was Tim Flock who took the win as the Flock brothers finished first and second. Lee Petty came home in third place on the lead lap.
Tim Flock went on to win 18 races for the season along with the 1955 NASCAR championship.
On Deck: New Hampshire International Speedway ... Race No. 27 on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule is also the first installment in the 10-race "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" -- the Sylvania 300 set for Sunday, Sept. 18 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Kurt Busch (No. 97 Crown Royal Ford) swept both NHIS events last year; his win in September 2004 jump-started his drive to the series championship. Tony Stewart won this season's first NHIS event, in July. And watch Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), who swept NHIS' races in 2003.
The race: Chevy Rock & Roll 400 (Race No. 26 of the 36-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.)
The track: Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.
The date/time: Saturday, Sept. 10, 7:40 p.m. (ET).
TV: TNT, 7 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
Posted awards: $4,875,701.
Race length: 400 laps, 300 miles.
Track layout: .75-mile oval.
2004 winner: Jeremy Mayfield
2004 pole sitter: Ryan Newman
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Tony Stewart 3,570. 2. Greg Biffle 3,361. 3. Jimmie Johnson 3,312. 4. Rusty Wallace 3,257. 5. Mark Martin 3,149. 6. Kurt Busch 3,114. 7. Jeremy Mayfield 3,073. 8. Carl Edwards, 3,014. 9. Matt Kenseth 2,939. 10. Jamie McMurray 2,929.