NEWS AND NOTES Kahne, Mayfield, Jarrett and McMurray all made up ground on the Top 10, this past Sunday in the Brickyard 400. Martin lost a bit, when a tire problem and accident ruined a probable top-five run and landed him in 25th. Martin could...
NEWS AND NOTES
Kahne, Mayfield, Jarrett and McMurray all made up ground on the Top 10, this past Sunday in the Brickyard 400. Martin lost a bit, when a tire problem and accident ruined a probable top-five run and landed him in 25th. Martin could very easily make up lost ground this weekend.
"We're taking the same car to The Glen that we raced at Sonoma in June," Martin said. "It's a good car and we've done some work to it which hopefully will make it an even better car. I expect that we will run really well this weekend. We've put Indy behind us and we are focused on our next challenge -- Watkins Glen."
Chevrolet on right "road" at Watkins Glen ... Chevrolets have won six of the last seven NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events at Watkins Glen. Ford's last win was in 1986; Dodge has no victories at Watkins Glen. Thus, it would be no surprise if Chevrolet padded its lead this weekend, in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Manufacturers' Championship standings. Coming into this weekend, Chevrolet has 155 points and 13 victories. Ford is second with 130 points and six wins. Dodge has 144 points and two wins.
NAPA backs Waltrip's "OPERATION MARATHON" ... NAPA AUTO PARTS will support Michael Waltrip's "OPERATION MARATHON" fundraising efforts benefiting the Victory Junction Gang Camp by donating $15,000 for every top-five finish, $10,000 for every top-10 finish and $5,000 for every top-15 finish by Waltrip (No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet) beginning Sunday. The donations will be in effect for the remainder of the season. Waltrip has 12 top-15 finishes already this season. Waltrip announced last month his goal of raising $1 million dollars through OPERATION MARATHON that would directly benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
Contingency Corner ... Thanks to Jeff Gordon's win at Indianapolis, Randy Dorton, chief engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports, extended his lead in the Clevite Engine Builder of the Year standings. Currently, Joe Gibbs Racing's Mark Cronquist, engine builder for Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet), is in second place, 29 points behind Dorton. Engine builders are vying for the $107,000 year-end payout posted by Clevite. The Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award awards points for starting position, finishing position, and to the engine builder whose driver led the most laps.
Just the Stats ... Qualifying obviously is important at Watkins Glen, given this item: 13 of the 21 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Watkins Glen have been won from a top-three starting position (62%), while seven races have been won from the pole. The furthest back a winner has started in the 21-race history at Watkins Glen is 18th by Steve Park in 2000. ... Jeff Gordon won a record six consecutive road-course races between the 1997 Watkins Glen race and the 2000 Sonoma event. Gordon became NASCAR's all-time road-course victory leader by winning the 2001 Watkins Glen race. Gordon padded his record earlier this season with a win at Sonoma. ... The two big-name road-racing "specialists" entered for Watkins Glen actually have struggled there, in NASCAR competition. Boris Said (No. 36 USG Durock Brand Chevrolet) has only one top-10 finish in four Glen starts, that being an eighth-place result in 2001. Canadian Ron Fellows (No. 1 Nutter Butter/Nilla Wafers Chevrolet) finished second at The Glen in 1991 but outside the top 10 in his other five starts, including four DNFs. ... German Klaus Graf (No. 59 SEM Products Dodge) will make his second start of the season. Graf finished 17th at Sonoma after starting 38th.
"I love The Glen. It's like I'm heading to New York to visit an old friend." -- Robby Gordon (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet), who swept 2003's road races, at Watkins Glen and Sonoma.
"I am going to Watkins Glen with a feeling that I have some unfinished business to attend to. A top-five finish is realistic. And if you're running in the top five there's no telling what could happen. A win is not out of the question." -- Boris Said, who felt he had the best car in last year's Glen field, before being involved in an accident that ended his chances.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
NASCAR's premier series has been racing annually at Watkins Glen International since 1986. However, NASCAR's participation at Watkins Glen dates back to 1957.
Buck Baker picked up his 33rd career victory on August 4, 1957 when he beat Fireball Roberts and 18 other drivers in a caution-free 44-lap event. NASCAR then took a seven-year hiatus from The Glen, appearing again in 1964. Billy Wade, NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 1963, was in the midst of a sensational summer, having won three consecutive events coming into The Glen's 150-mile race on July 19. Wade, driving Bud Moore's Mercury, capped a four-race summer sweep when he took the checkered flag six seconds ahead of runner-up LeeRoy Yarbrough in a Ray Fox-prepared Dodge.
NASCAR returned on July 18, 1965 with a field of 19 cars taking the green flag behind polesitter Dick Hutcherson. Marvin Panch drove his Wood Brothers Ford to the win as he beat second-place finisher Ned Jarrett by nearly a full lap. Nineteen years later, NASCAR's premier series would return to Watkins Glen International as the legendary road course would become a permanent part of the series' schedule.