Michigan Saturday Notes

Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss Notebook By Shawn A. Akers BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 15, 1998) Some Saturday notes and quotes from the Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss at Michigan Speedway: A couple of streaks will be on the line Sunday...

Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss Notebook By Shawn A. Akers BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 15, 1998) Some Saturday notes and quotes from the Pepsi 400 presented by DeVilbiss at Michigan Speedway:

A couple of streaks will be on the line Sunday at Michigan. Jeff Gordon, the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet, will be going for his fourth-consecutive victory, which would add yet another impressive credential to his already legendary racing status.

Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Valvoline/Cummins Ford, also has a streak on the line. He'll be going for his third consecutive victory at Michigan, having won last year's DeVilbiss 400 and the Miller Lite 400 two months ago.

"You know, every time you win one it's less likely that you're gonna win it the next time," Martin said. "I'm a realist. I know what we're up against and I'm motivated 100 percent. The race team has given it 100 percent every week, every inch of the way, and that's all we can do."

Martin, who will start Sunday's race from the inside of Row 3 in the fifth position, will be driving the same car he has won with at Las Vegas, Texas, California and Michigan this season.

"Yeah, this has been a great race car for us," Martin said. "It has some good luck, I think, down in the tubing, or rolls bars or something because it's been really sweet. We're really motivated this weekend. We want to win this thing."

Martin has four NASCAR Winston Cup Series victories this year, but hasn't won since the Miller Lite 400 at Michigan on June 14.

Gordon qualified third on Friday, but he has started first or second nine of the last 11 races and leads all drivers with 17 top-10 finishes this season. The driver of the No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet has a 5.9 starting average in 1998, the best of all drivers.

Gordon's starting average in the first nine races was 11.0; and in the last 11 races it's 1.7. Gordon has one pole at Michigan (June 1995), but has only one top-five start in the five races there since.

Talk about a driver headed in the right direction, it's John Andretti. The driver of the No. 43 STP Pontiac has posted four top-10 finishes in the last five races and has moved up to 12th in the standings.

Andretti is 26 points behind 11th-place Jimmy Spencer, who will miss at least the next two races due to lingering effects from a concussion, and is 68 points behind 10th-place Ken Schrader.

Andretti qualified 15th and will start Sunday's Pepsi 400 from the inside of Row 8.

While Gordon, Martin and Andretti have been enjoying success lately, it's been exactly the opposite for Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Taurus. Since his victory in the Pocono 500 at Long Pond, Pa., in June, Mayfield has finished 18th or worse in the five races held and has dropped from first to sixth in the standings.

Mayfield will start Sunday's race from the eighth position, on the outside of Row 4.

"That's something we needed," Mayfield said. "Our luck hasn't been exactly the best over the past few weeks and we needed something to really give us a boost for this weekend. (Friday) we didn't start off well and we running behind some in practice. But (crew chief) Paul (Andrews) and the guys kept hammering away and kept looking, and we kept getting better and better."

Key highways leading to Michigan will be changed to one-way roads for Sunday's race. On a trial basis, U.S. 12 from U.S. 127 to M-50, Vicary Rd. >From U.S. 127 to Brooklyn Hwy., and M-50 south of Wampler's Lake Rd., to U.S. 12 will be one-way leading to the track beginning at 6 a.m. on Sunday.

The same roads will be changed to one-way from the track prior to the end of the race, creating four more lanes of traffic for the expected crowd of over 140,000 spectators and over 50,000-plus cars.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Jeremy Mayfield , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Mark Martin