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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) NASCAR Fans _______________________________________ NASCAR Fans Website http://www.nascarfans.com
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