Watkins Glen Henry's rumblings

RUMBLINGS -- WATKINS GLEN Jeff Gordon got a first today....when you've got 27 career wins and rank 18th on the all-time list, it's about time to get your first road course victory. You could almost see it coming tho....he'd been...

RUMBLINGS -- WATKINS GLEN

Jeff Gordon got a first today....when you've got 27 career wins and rank 18th on the all-time list, it's about time to get your first road course victory. You could almost see it coming tho....he'd been 6th or better in his last 6 road course races. His top-prize of $139K included the Winston Leader Bonus of $50K....he was the last driver to win that prize at California two months ago. The Unocal bonus went unclaimed....it'll be worth $76,000 at MIS next week. That contingency has not been won since Jeff Gordon won the rain-shortened Coke 600 at Charlotte in May. Is this starting to sound like a broken record? <G>

Still too early to start a magic number for the Championship....with a 109 point lead and still 12 races to go, we may be able to start a countdown next week. But, for all us stat freaks, every driver from 38th (Dave Marcis) on down is eliminated if Jeff Gordon starts every race left.

Best sign of the weekend...."My wife is installing her own faucet this weekend." Presumably while her husband was enjoying the festivities at the Glen <G>....now, there's a guy after my own heart. Seeing as how Peerless is a sponsor on TNN, the humor wasn't lost on the ESPN director.

It was as close to a dream weekend as it gets for Sabco. Robby Gordon had his career best finish (4th), Wally Dallenbach (10th) had his first Top-10 of the season (and best since he finished 10th here last year), and Joe Nemechek (12th) had his best finish of the season (and best since he finished 8th at last years' Bud at the Glen). Just keep signing those checks, Felix! <G>

Things weren't so rosy with Petty Enterprises & pe2 tho....gotta wonder if Dad & son will have a little talk after Kyle stuck it inside of Bobby Hamilton going into the inner-loop for the final time.

The heats gonna be on Ricky Craven for the next 3 weeks....by my numbers that team is out of provisionals till Richmond (Race #24). They've used their 6 allotted thus far. There is always a chance for a special provisional (when no other team owner has one available), but I don't think they're gonna count on that. This is of course all moot if NASCAR has again changed the provisional rules without letting anybody know about it <G>.

STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 3 Top-5's in a row. Mark Martin has 4 Top-10's in a row, and 13 Top-10s out of the last 14 races. Bill Elliott has 4 Top-10's in a row.

Robby Gordon's Top-5 today brings us to 24 different drivers with at least one Top-5 for the season.....last year we had 27. Wally Dallenbach's Top-10 makes 35 different Top-10 scorers for the year.....last season's final number was 38.

This week's elevator....UP: Operator of the week is Steve Grissom (+24), Ted Musgrave (+23), and Ricky Craven (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper is Todd Bodine (-34), Dale Jarrett (-30), Bobby Labonte (-23), Ward Burton (-23), and Steve Park (-21).

Changes in this weeks point standings include: Jeremy Mayfield & Ricky Rudd swap positions (short week, huh Ricky?) <G> Mayfield is now 7th and Rudd 8th, while Rusty Wallace moves up 2 spots (15th to 13th). The only 3 position changes go to Craven (26th to 23rd) and Ward Burton (23rd to 26th).

Next week it's back to the Irish Hills and a 200-lapper at Michigan International Speedway, where Robert Yates' T-Birds have won the last 2 races at that D-shaped oval. The caravan continues....today was the 2nd race in a grueling stretch of 11 straight weekends. Gotta make sure you've got enough snacks & beverages to last. It's so tough being a fan <G>.....

Henry Dubret (henry@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Wally Dallenbach , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Steve Park , Robby Gordon , Ted Musgrave , Ricky Craven , Steve Grissom , Robert Yates , Mark Martin