Mike's NASCAR Notes 97-07-07

Asheville, according to Jimmy Johnson, his team manager. ''I just talked to Rick yesterday and he had a bad night. But he was able to go to the office for an hour. Last week he couldn't even go to the office.'' So doctors cut his medication. ''I...

Asheville, according to Jimmy Johnson, his team manager. ''I just talked to Rick yesterday and he had a bad night. But he was able to go to the office for an hour. Last week he couldn't even go to the office.'' So doctors cut his medication. ''I think he's getting more accustomed to the dosage now that they've cut it back,'' Johnson said. (JournalNow)

When John Andretti rolled down pit road after the Pepsi 400 race, he stopped by Richard Petty's pits. ''Richard asked me if I was lost,'' Andretti said with a laugh. ''And I said 'Yes. Where's victory lane?' I think I broke my arm about two or three times from friends congratulating me by pulling my arm out the window. I had a lot of specials friends thanking me.''

''Ward's got a pretty bad bump on the head,'' crew chief Chris Hussey said. ''Definitely a concussion. But he was talking. They're going to do an MRI to make sure there's no damage to his neck.'' Chris was speaking of his driver, Ward Burton, after the last lap multi-car crash at Daytona.

Talking about his driver Sterling Marlin's strong 3rd place finish in the Pepsi 400, Larry McClure said, ''That's the nice thing about Winston Cup racing -- you've always got next week to look forward to. If you have one bad day, you can always come back the next day and show what you're made of. When you're down, you've got to work out of it. And thank the Lord that we had a good day. We needed it. We certainly needed it, and maybe it will give us something to build on.'' (JournalNow)

Driver Quotes About That Pepsi 400 One-Lap Green Flag

"That wasn't a shoot-out. That was a slugfest, a wreckfest. They know better than to do that,'' said Dale Earnhardt, who was bumped by Dick Trickle in the incident and finished fourth.

"That's what you're asking for if you do something like that,'' Dale Jarrett said. "People are laying back just to see what they can do. You're just inviting something like that to happen. I know they don't like (races) to end up under caution but things like that are what happens when you throw the green and the white (flags) at a restrictor-plate race.''

"Every fan wants to see a race finish under green and I'm willing to bet every fan doesn't want to see anyone get hurt,'' Kyle Petty said. ``What they had is a recipe for somebody getting hurt real bad. As far as I'm concerned, NASCAR got what they wanted, the fans didn't get anything they wanted because they saw some of their favorites get taken out on the last lap and the same guy that was leading the race before the restart still won the race. Why didn't they just end it under caution?''

Derrike Cope's car was one of several destroyed in the crash, and he was irate, calling the decision to restart the race ''stupid.'' ''They had a great race, and then they had to go and do that to the race. I don't understand their thinking. It bothers me. We're racers, and we're going to go out there and dig for the hole. You don't like it to end under the yellow, but dadgum, it was a great race all day long and a great new winner. What more can they ask for? The guy that made that call ought to be whipped.''

One big winner of that wreck was Ken Schrader, who said: ''We went from 29th to 15th the last lap.''

''It's kind of crazy,'' Joe Nemechek complained, ''to have a one-lap shoot-out when everyone is driving like nuts.''

''I knew when they said 'One to go,' that all hell was going to break loose,'' David Green said. ''And it did. But maybe it was just a little impatience by one guy that messed up a lot of people.''

''We'd been struggling all day,'' Terry Labonte said, ''but we were running fifth that last restart. And I wouldn't have been real mad if it had ended under caution.''

NASCAR's Gary Nelson disagreed with the critics: ''When the track was ready to race, and we were going to restart the race. Unlike the Daytona 500, where the track had oil on it and we were criticized for not starting it. But then the track was not ready. This time the track was ready to race, and everybody came here to see a race, and to race.'' Darned if you do, and darned if you don't? ''From our end, we can't look at it that way,'' Nelson said. ''We came here to hold a race, and the competitors came here to compete. There have been wrecks on the 10th lap, even the first lap. Who knows if it's going to happen on the last lap or not. We race when the track's ready, right up to the last mile.'' (Quotes from JournalNow articles and Orlando Sentinal)

Sears' decision to drop its Winston Cup sponsorship (Western Auto) has some in the NASCAR garage wondering about the future of Sears' sponsorship of the Truck series. But Sears' heavy promotion this week of the Truck race at Milwaukee, near Sears' corporate headquarters, should dispel some of that talk.

Car owner Billy Hagan (#78 Hanes) is planning a trip to China this fall to develop an off-shore oil exploration program with the Chinese national oil company. Hagan, who has helped develop fields in Indonesia and Malaysia, can get some notes on Chinese politics from his daughter, Diana, a specialist at the Medical Center of Charleston. She lectured in Beijing last year on her specialty, neurosurgery. Hagan, who has had trouble in the last few races, said he was happy that his driver, Billy Standridge, qualified seventh.

Mike Irwin (mike@nascarfans.com) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com

_______________________________________ To subscribe/unsubscribe to the E-mail List send mail to nascarfans-request@netcrafters.com subject line: subscribe or subject line: unsubscribe ________________________________________

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Ward Burton , Derrike Cope , Terry Labonte , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , David Green , Richard Petty , Billy Hagan