Henry's ramblings - Dover

RAMBLINGS -- DOVER You wouldn't think a lead of 1 could be commanding, but with the way the Busch Poles have been spread around this year, Mark Martin could be in the catbird's seat. Today was career pole ...

RAMBLINGS -- DOVER

You wouldn't think a lead of 1 could be commanding, but with the way the Busch Poles have been spread around this year, Mark Martin could be in the catbird's seat. Today was career pole #35, and the 3rd of '97 for the Batesville Battler.

Meanwhile, those sports writers who cover baseball are lamenting the fact that the contending teams don't always play each other down the stretch....well, they're following the wrong sport. We've got the Top-3 in the points in the top 3 spots for Sundays race....always looking for converts, you know (G).

STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 4 Top-5 starts in the last 5 races. Dale Jarrett has 8 Top-10 starts in the last 10 races.

Morgan Shepherd says....YES....you can go home again.....and quite nicely, thank you. He returns to the #1 car and has a solid 15th place effort to show for it. That team is devoid of provisionals till the final race of the season, so first round qualifying will be of prime importance from here on out.

Less we forget....with only 7 races remaining in the season, there are still 2 spots open on next years Winners Circle Plan. We've only had 8 different winners this season. If we end the season with only 8 winners, NASCAR fills those 2 spots by going back to the winners in 1996....and those spots would go to the #5 (Terry Labonte) and the #3 (Dale Earnhardt). Both those teams had 2 victories each, and break the tie with the #4 car on owner points.

With only 43 cars in the mix this week, it's possible they could all make the race. Steve Park in the #14 car is the only car in trouble. If they can move into the Top-38 in 2nd round tomorrow morning, we could have everybody intact for the weekend. Park has one career WC start, but has been unable to qualify in his previous 2 oval-track attempts. I would be surprised to see many cars attempt a second try tomorrow.

Richard Petty & Bobby Allison are the all-time win leaders at DDIS with 7 each. Ricky Rudd's victory here in June moved him into a tie with Bill Elliott for the lead amongst active drivers with 4.

We may have 20% less racing on Sunday, but here's hoping we don't have 20% less action. This is a track that's known to be a car-eater....the late Alan Kulwicki once went through 3 of 'em in one weekend. They had to call back to the shop for a second backup. It's not called the "Monster" for nuthin....

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

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Terry Labonte , Steve Park , Richard Petty , Morgan Shepherd , Bobby Allison , Mark Martin , Alan Kulwicki