Henry'r Martinsville rumblings 97-09029

RUMBLINGS -- MARTINSVILLE Jeff Burton was in the right place at the right time today. When Rusty Wallace decided to tug on Superman's cape, Jeff Burton was the beneficiary of that miscue. Burton now has 3 career victories...

RUMBLINGS -- MARTINSVILLE

Jeff Burton was in the right place at the right time today. When Rusty Wallace decided to tug on Superman's cape, Jeff Burton was the beneficiary of that miscue. Burton now has 3 career victories (all in '97), and todays win moves him from 75th to 70th on the all-time list.....tying him with, among others, the legend Tiny Lund. This win gives Roush Racing 2 in a row.

Kinda hard to feel sorry for Rusty. At every drivers meeting they tell the drivers & crew chiefs where the re-start point will be. During the event, Rusty jumped the start repeatedly....and was warned by NASCAR twice. Heck, on the one they penalized him for, I thought he was gonna lap Buster Auton (G). He just barely made it to pit road before Rusty roared by. You can only stretch that rubber band so far....and then you get stung.

You gotta love short-track justice. Sometimes it comes quickly...sometimes you gotta wait 100 laps or so. Jeff Green is a patient man, he bided his time till he got his chance to let Jeremy Mayfield know how he felt. He even slowed down to make sure he got that left-rear quarter panel _just_ right. Sometimes, a driver feels the penalty is worth it.....

Dale Earnhardt got his second consecutive runner-up finish today. He's got 4 of those this season....and 6 in his winless string of 54.

Kenny Wallace is campaigning for a 33 race season at Martinsville....he got another 6th place finish today, tying his best of the season, both at this half-mile.

Ward Burton tied his best finish of the season....this was his third 7th place finish of the year.

STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 9 Top-5's in the last 10 races.

Nothing NASCAR can do about it....those backstretch pits are the kiss of death. Ask Bobby Hamilton how important a half/hundredth of a second in qualifying can be....that's how much he missed the frontstretch pits by.

This weeks Elevator....UP: Ricky Craven is the operator of the week (+28), Brett Bodine (+24), Jeremy Mayfield (+21), and Ernie Irvan (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper this week is Kenny Irwin Jr. (-34)....(you know you've made the big leagues when you're in the elevator (G)), Sterling Marlin (-25), and Robert Pressley (-21).

You gotta love that #77 team....they went out and ran after that wreck, just to gain 12 points. This for a team that's 43rd in Owner Points, with no possible chance of making the Top-40.

Well, the magic number for Jeff Gordon is now 4. With a 135 point lead and 5 races left, if Gordon finishes 4th in the remaining races, Mark Martin can't catch him. Mark lost 30 points in the season-long race today.

If you're keeping score at home, everybody from 8th on down in the points is now mathematically eliminated.

Earnhardt moved into the Top-5, leap-frogging over Terry Labonte. The biggest point move of the day goes to Ward Burton (25th to 22nd), with Bobby Hamilton (19th to 17th) and Ricky Craven (23rd to 21st) gaining 2 spots each. The biggest fall of the day went to Steve Grissom (21st to 24th).

Next week it's Charlotte....next week heck, pole night is Wednesday. This will be Week #10 of 11 straight. Judging from the short tempers of a few today, it's a good thing there were only 3 short-track venues in that string.

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

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green , Robert Pressley , Ricky Craven , Steve Grissom , Mark Martin , Tiny Lund