Henry's rumblings -- The Brickyard

Rumblings -- The Brickyard Ricky Rudd had 'em covered all the way on gas <G>, running out on the cool down lap today. Skipping that last pit stop was good for a nifty $571,000....and he doesn't have to give the driver his cut...

Rumblings -- The Brickyard

Ricky Rudd had 'em covered all the way on gas <G>, running out on the cool down lap today. Skipping that last pit stop was good for a nifty $571,000....and he doesn't have to give the driver his cut <G>. Good thing we had a couple of yellow laps during the last 20, or it may have been a wild scramble at the end.

Ricky nabbed career win #19, tying him for 26th on the all-time win list with Davey Allison, Buddy Baker, & Fonty Flock. There are only 6 active drivers with more victories.

In this 15 year run of at least one win a year for RR, this is only the 4th time he's had 2 wins in a season....his high-water mark.

Bobby Labonte tried the same strategy, as did Johnny Benson. There's nothing better than second-guessing the crew chief. How many times did you yell...."There's no way they can go 46 laps....tear down that fuel cell!" at home? Where's Smokey Yunick when you need him? <G>

Benson had his best finish since Michigan last August....and he was 8th here last year.

  Somebody take Rick Wilson to Las Vegas.  He's got 2 WC starts this season,
and he finished 21st in each.  Blackjack, anyone?

Jeff Burton went from the penthouse to the outhouse fast...one minute he looked like the winner, the next he had to battle from 24th back to 15th after he got that speeding ticket. It seems like tracks such as Indy & Pocono are almost like the road courses....you wanna pit right before the yellow comes out. If you can do that, and stay on the lead lap, it's a huge advantage.

Terry Labonte is lucky to be 4th in points....Burton looked like he had that spot in the bag. This was Terry's 3rd finish of 35th or worse this season....that hasn't happened since 1991 when he had 4 of 'em. He was still driving the #94 Sunoco car then.

The Unocal Bonus went unclaimed....it'll be worth $68,400 if the pole-winner can also be the race winner next week. The Winston Winner Bonus will roll over to $50K next week as well.

Jeff Gordon now leads all drivers in Top-5's with 14. 3 drivers have 14 Top-10's ....Gordon, Mark Martin, & Terry Labonte. Amazingly, Gordon has no finishes of 6-10 this deep in the year.

Rusty Wallace had his 9th DNF today....that's his highest number for a season since 1991 when he had 10. But, we've still got 13 races to go, and his engine woes aren't showing any signs of dissipating.

STREAKIN....Mark Martin has 12 Top-10's in the last 13 races. Dale Jarrett has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.

This weeks elevator....UP: The operator of the week is Kyle Petty (+26), Mark Martin (+25), Ricky Craven (+25), Brett Bodine (+24), Bobby Labonte (+23), and Jeff Gordon (+21). DOWN: The big dropper this week is a tie....Joe Nemechek (-30) and Sterling Marlin (-30), David Green (-26), Dale Earnhardt (-24), Rich Bickle (-24), Wally Dallenbach (-22), Michael Waltrip (-21), and Chad Little (-21).

Gotta say one thing about Darrell Waltrip's comments on the Happy Hour show from Friday on the Duece. He's got an idea about franchises for car owners. DW....we love you to death, but if it ain't broke don't fix it. Nobody likes to see drivers miss the field, but the reason guys like Bobby Allison & Bud Moore aren't around this year has nothing to do with missing races....it's sponsorship, plain & simple. The provisional system is fine the way it is....when you have 51 cars and only 43 spots, somebody's gonna go home. If you're not fast enough to make the 38 timed positions available, and you're not high enough in owner points to gain a provisional spot, then somebody probably out-worked you that weekend. The work ethic has been removed from too many places in our society already....lets keep it in our sport.

We've got a 4-week franchise system (of sorts) in place already...and it's been used often. It's the previous years owner points during the first 4 weeks of the season.....and we've seen some game playing there with ownership to enable certain cars to get a start. Second-round qualifying day can be extremely tense, exciting, and frustrating....but it can be the most rewarding day of the weekend (witness Kenny Wallace on Friday). As our sport continues to grow, and we move to new & larger markets & tracks, we'll hopefully see even more sponsors....and in turn more cars. If you wanna talk franchises, go tell the folks in North Wilkesboro about it. Nice dance on the Pit Lane, tho.....<G>

Not a lot of movement in the point standings this weekend....nobody gained or lost more than 2 spots. The 3 drivers who bettered their positions were Ernie Irvan (15th to 13th), Mike Skinner (27th to 25th), and Rick Mast (31st to 29th). There were also 3 drivers went the wrong way....Michael Waltrip (12th to 14th), Jimmy Spencer (17th to 19th), and Derrike Cope (25th to 27th).

Next week the boys get to show they can turn left _and_ right for the second & final time this season, as we visit Watkins Glen. Look for the usual cast of road-course characters....and the occasional surprise.

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 Rich Bickle , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Derrike Cope , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Sterling Marlin , Johnny Benson , Ricky Craven , Chad Little , David Green , Rick Mast , Buddy Baker , Mark Martin , Davey Allison