Henry's Talladega ramblings 97-10-10

RAMBLINGS -- TALLADEGA Hey, whatcha know....we didn't get a new qualifier for the Bud Shootout today. Ernie Irvan was already in the field thanks to his pole at The Brickyard in August. This was the 19th pole of Ernie's ...


Hey, whatcha know....we didn't get a new qualifier for the Bud Shootout today. Ernie Irvan was already in the field thanks to his pole at The Brickyard in August. This was the 19th pole of Ernie's career, and his 5th at Talladega. Course, the last time he won a pole here was in April of '96...and Gary Nelson decided to blow up that Yates powerplant on his chassis dyno. If Gary decides to drop around the Yates garage stall, I hope he's wearing his kevlar underwear. (G)

What could be finer than to see the colors made famous by Davey Allison on his home track again? I've read where Robert Yates said he had to be talked into doing the retro paint scheme, but I think it should become a permanent fixture at 'Dega.

How about that blockbuster announcement by R. J. Reynolds today? The Winston No Bull 5 will bring about the most excitement our sport has seen since the advent of the Winston Million. Hey, it's only costing them $5 Mil at most, but look at all the possibilities it could raise....and it elevates the Brickyard 400 into the position it deserves. Besides, it's nice to see some other drivers (and their fans) presented with the opportunity to dream. And, after all, it's not my money (G).

Nothing to speak of in the Streakin category this weekend.

This may be the week for bests....no less than 4 drivers grabbed their best starting spots in over a year. Jimmy Spencer (3rd) has his best starting spot since North Wilkesboro in October of 1994....that was back in the Junior Johnson days of the #27 McDonalds car. Jeff Burton (4th) will start from his best position since Richmond in September of 1996. Derrike Cope (5th) has his best starting position since Michigan in June of '96. And, Robert Pressley (11th) will have his best starting spot since Talladega in April of 1996.

Well, Darrell Waltrip will feel better this week. He's the only former champ not locked into the Top-25, so he's assured of a starting spot. The same can't be said for about 5 other guys tho. With 47 cars on hand, we'll have at least 4 and maybe 5 DNQ's. Here's this weeks trouble train: Ed Berrier, Billy Standridge, and Gary Bradberry are all without provisionals. Chad Little (40th in Owner Points) and David Green (38th) are in big trouble too.

With Jayski.com as an associate on Billy Standridge's #47, everybody in cyberspace has got a rooting interest there. Billy needs to find a couple tenths to put it in the show, tho.

This is the home track for the "One Win Wonders" of NASCAR. No fewer than 6 drivers have their lone WC victory on this track...Ron Bouchard, Richard Brickhouse, Dick Brooks, Bobby Hillin, Phil Parsons, and Lennie Pond. And, Parsons' victory was the only one in the Spring race. Brickhouse's win was in September, and that was the latest calendar date for this track till this year. That was also the inaugural race for this track, and most of the regular drivers boycotted that event because they felt this place was unsafe.

When the shift of this race to the fall was announced, I felt then it would become the pivotal (and possibly premier) event of the season. It's time for Mark Martin & Dale Jarrett to either fish or cut bait. DJ made up some ground last week, but he's gotta keep cutting into Jeff Gordon's advantage cause time is running out. 25 points a week won't cut it, and for that matter, Mark needs to gain more points a race than that. But, this is 'Dega....and no one is ever _real_ comfortable here. Things happen quicker here than anywhere else on the circuit, and you're on edge all day. Have a mishap on the last lap, and you could lose 80-90 points in the blink of an eye. I think Mark & Dale feel this is where they've gotta make it happen....and that will only increase the tension. I think we can look forward to the norm on Sunday....squared!

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

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Jimmy Spencer , Robert Pressley , Chad Little , David Green , Gary Bradberry , Phil Parsons , Junior Johnson , Robert Yates , Mark Martin , Davey Allison