Mid-Season rumblings

Henry's Rumblings -- Was June a Boom or a Bust? Did your driver suffer a June Swoon? Or did they take the opportunity and stride forward? Theres beem a lot of movement in the point standings since Charlotte, and June is often the time of...

Henry's Rumblings -- Was June a Boom or a Bust?

Did your driver suffer a June Swoon? Or did they take the opportunity and stride forward? Theres beem a lot of movement in the point standings since Charlotte, and June is often the time of year when you can position yourself for a strong second-half. Let's look at the movers....

The Ascenders:

Jeff Gordon - Re-assumed the top spot after Pocono and appears to be hitting on all cylinders. Mark Martin - Has moved from 4th to 2nd in the points, and looks to be the only other driver to have found the consistency needed to make a run for the top spot. Jeff Burton - has moved from 7th to 5th since Charlotte....in spite of that practice crash at Michigan. Jeremy Mayfield - A big move from 17th to 10th since the 600....this team may be putting it all together. Paul Andrews is settling in. Ted Musgrave - 19th to 11th in 4 races...this team has re-found the consistency they needed. All 3 of the Roush teams are on a roll right now. Darrell Waltrip - 16th to 14th....but he's led a lap the last 5 races, after not seeing the front for the first 10. Jimmy Spencer - 23rd to 18th....when you run Top-5, you can gain some spots quickly back in this territory of the points. Sterling Marlin - 22nd to 19th...a small move for a team thats really struggling right now. He's gotta be happy to see Daytona this week.

The Droppers:

Terry Labonte - Went from 1st to 3rd predominantly due to one flat tire at Michigan....that could turn out to be _one_ expensive Goodyear. Bobby Labonte - Fallen from 5th to 7th thanks to 2 bad races at Dover & Pocono....but the last 2 races show they may be back on track. Rusty Wallace - A big fall from 9th to 15th....after that runner-up finish at Charlotte, it's been 39, 22, 29, & 14th since. What a yo-yo year! Bobby Hamilton - A drop from 12th to 17th. Tire troubles at Pocono started their tumble. I'm sure they can't wait to get back to the short tracks...but that's still a little ways off.

The Stayers:

Dale Jarrett - Fell from 3rd to 4th in June, but lost 60 points to the leader. Dale Earnhardt - Stayed in 6th all month, but lost 94 points to the leader. And we all know about "The Streak", but this week is a plate race. Ricky Rudd - Ho hum...8th all the way. You can just pencil him in at the start of the season. Michael Waltrip - Advanced one spot, but the Woods are getting their usual consistency. Bill Elliott - Dropped one spot in the standings, but he's gotta be happy just to be able to have a June after last year. Johnny Benson - Solid runs, nothing spectacular, but 13th in the points is nothing to sneeze at....especially when you see some of the drivers behind him. Ernie Irvan - Although he's fallen from 14th to 16th since Charlotte, that Michigan win still jumps out at you.

With 15 down & 17 to go, the glass is still only half-full. Less than 100 points separate 5th to 8th, and 13th to 20th is only 141 points apart....and it only figures to get tighter as the season progresses. It still looks like a 4 horse race at the top, but it only takes one slip and the door gets opened....and these guys like to barge in (sometimes they knock first <G>).

                                         Henry@nascarfans.com
  
  

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Jimmy Spencer , Sterling Marlin , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Mark Martin