Short Track Wrap-Up 97-10-08

With the short time-frame last week between a Monday Martinsville event and Wednesday qualifying at Charlotte, we didn't get the chance to properly acknowledge the end of the short-track season. Here are the Top-20 in Short-Track Points, with...

With the short time-frame last week between a Monday Martinsville event and Wednesday qualifying at Charlotte, we didn't get the chance to properly acknowledge the end of the short-track season. Here are the Top-20 in Short-Track Points, with their average finish position in parenthesis:

 1. Dale Jarrett     942 (6.2)
 2. Rusty Wallace    930 (6.7)
 3. Jeff Gordon      923 (8.0)
 4. Mark Martin      847 (9.8)
 5. Terry Labonte    826 (10.0)
 6. Bobby Hamilton   780 (13.8)
 7. Dale Earnhardt   774 (12.3)
 8. Ken Schrader     728 (14.3)
 9. Ward Burton      718 (15.2)
10. Jeff Burton      717 (17.7)
11. Jeremy Mayfield  712 (15.2)
12. Geoff Bodine     692 (17.5)
13. Bill Elliott     674 (18.3)
14. Ricky Rudd       665 (17.7)
15. Johnny Benson    659 (17.8)
16. Bobby Labonte    635 (19.8)
17. Jimmy Spencer    631 (19.8)
18. Steve Grissom    625 (20.0)
19. Ted Musgrave     599 (21.2)
20. Ricky Craven     593 (15.0)

Well, it appears as though some drivers are happy to see the end of the short-tracks, while others wish we'd add a few more bull-rings.

There's been lots written about Dale Jarrett gaining his first victories ever on the short ovals, but he was no slouch in '96 as he was 3rd in the final rundown in S-T points. Rusty made a nice move up....he was 5th in the '96 listing.

Bobby Hamilton showed his usual prowess....he was 4th in '96. Considering he's 17th overall right now, it's easy to see where he excels.

Ward Burton is a big surprise. His '96 numbers were poor (he missed both Martinsville races as well as both events at North Wilkesboro), but when you look at his 9th place standing vs 20th in overall points, it's clear they've stepped up their short-track program.

Brother Jeff may be the enigma in the group. He was 10th in '96 S-T points as well, but when you look at how he got there this year, it's like a roller coaster. His first 2 short-track finishes this year were both 42nd place efforts....then he captures the Hanes 500 to finish with a flurish.

In 20th place, Ricky Craven's numbers are a bit deceiving. He missed the first Bristol race recovering from his injuries at Texas Motor Speedway, or he would probably have finished somewhere around 10th to 12th.

With only a little less than 20% of the schedule now comprised of short-track events, these numbers are fading in importance as the years go by. But here's hoping NASCAR holds true to their roots, if for no other reason than the dimension it adds to our sport (and it keeps the body-men busy) (G).

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 Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Johnny Benson , Ted Musgrave , Ricky Craven , Steve Grissom , Mark Martin