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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Sunday, December 4, 2005 - Page 32

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 4, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas                                Page 4E HERALDZEITUNG December 2005 What did we learn from the fi nal weeks of the season One of the most important conclu sions Is that Jeff Gordon is likely to be back in the top 10 next year and is a real contender for a fifth The Driver of the Year was un doubtedly Tony but the Story of the Year was Carl Ed having been the fa vorite next year might well be Greg who won more races than Biffle and Ed wards tied for second though Biffle gets the runnerup spot officially by virtue of win ning six races to Edwards In Matt Kenseth won more races than anyone then won the championship a year Jeff Gordon pulled that feat off the other a number of drivers with the most wins in a single season have never won a Among them are Tim Richmond Davey Al lison 199192 at least so Ryan Newman and Jimmie by the has fin ished in the top five in the points standings in each of his four Stewart has finished seventh or better in all seven of his Cup Whos the best driver who com peted regularly in Cup or whats now known as Cup without ever winning the championship Cer tainly Mark Martin belongs in that but many would cite drivers from the past like Ju nior Fireball Fred Lorenzen and Jim Its great that Rusty Wallaces Last Call received so much at but its kind of a shame that Ricky who has 23 ca reer retired with rela tively little That was ulti mately Rudds but he will be greatly Rudd hasnt completely eliminated the possi bility that he might be available for occasional by the Last week we cited Gordon and Stewart as the only active drivers with multiple champi We shouldve used the word as twotime champion Terry Labonte still competes on a limited Stewarts big year A few facts and figures about Stewarts championship per formance He won his second champi onship in the series 57th Only he and Jeff among drivers still competing have won the cham pionship more than Ter ry not a fulltime participant also won two cham Stewart posted three five 17 topfive finish es and 25 STEWART Gibbs has won three cham pionships as an owner Stew arts two 2005 and Bob by Labontes one Stewart is the eighth Rookie of the Year to subsequently win a Stewarts biggest points lead officially was 213 points fol lowing a secondplace finish at Bristol in the margin was narrowed for the Had there been no Chase and the championship been based on the full he wouldve won by 235 though his actual margin over Greg Biffle and Carl Ed wards was If you have a question or a write NASCAR This The Gaston Box NC 28053 NASCAR invades New York for annual awards banquet The Nextel Cup Series Awards Cere scheduled for 2 at the Wal dorfAstoria Hotel in New York culminates more than a week of activi ties for champion Tony the next 10 drivers in the points the champions of the Busch and Crafts man Truck series and regional NASCAR champions from across the Stewart was scheduled to appear ances on a wide variety of television including Late Show With David Letterman on CBS and NBCs Today He and other toprank ing drivers were also scheduled to ap pear at the New York Stock the Fire Department of New York train ing the Ronald McDonald House and One recent addition to the celebra tion was the Victory in which the cars of the top 10 drivers were paraded through the The champion also was scheduled to take part in a Times Square photo shoot on the day before the awards NASCAR Chairman Brian France was scheduled to be honored with a Sports Leadership Award at the Greater New York March of Dimes luncheon at the Among other honorees were soccer star Mia Hamm and Willie man ager of the New York As for the awards ceremony comedian Jay Mohr was scheduled to as well as singers Toni Brax ton and Gavin DeGraw and jazz pianist Eric Television coverage is scheduled to begin at 9 EST on the TNT cable Live coverage of the entire which actually begins at 7 will also be featured on XM Satel lite and Motor Racing Network will provide coverage in some Monte Dutton m JEFF GORDON NEXTEL CUP SERIES 24 DuPoNT CHEVROLET John This Week Jeff hangs out in the garage area with team owner Rick and teammate Jimmie Sweet Finish Gordon was among strongest finishers at the end of the season By Monte Dutton NASCAR This Week When NASCAR changed the man ner of determining its championship in the ruling body also attempt ed to sweeten the pot for those who failed to make the Eleventh place in the Nextel Cup points stand ings now features a million payout of its and this year fourtime champion Jeff Gordon claimed that Eleventh place left Gordon unful to be but down the stretch he regained the form that produced championships in 1998 and I was just really thrilled the way we ended the said Not making the we just tried to get some and I feel like we have A ninthplace finish in the season fi nale gave Gordon top10 finishes in five of the final seven high lighted by a his fourth of the in All that matters to me is perform ing and being up he The points always take care of themselves All that matters to me is performing and being up The points always take care of themselves when you run Jeff Gordon when you run All that matters to me is battling for wins and being and if were doing like I the points work themselves I really never focused one time on points throughout these last 10 Our focus was just on trying to make our team and I think we Gordon wouldve preferred that his Jimmie win the but he gracefully paid tribute to Tony I just think Tony Stewart is a great racecar Gordon Hes capable of making a race team better than it He brings a lot to the and hes good at a bunch of different race Among drivers still competing full time in NASCARs premier only Gordon and Stewart have won multiple I do think that when you win more than it puts you in an elite group and youre going to be looked upon Gordon You get into one group when you win you get into another group when you win two and it takes you to another He Stewart is capable of winning You to me its nice to see a talented racecar driver with a quality team winning the champi Im just saying that those are the type of combinations that win championships and we had a lot of those battling for that championship this You those guys were the top of the Contact Monte Dutton at hmdutton50@aol.com Buy tickets to Darlington and get a nifty CD The Dodge Charger 500 at Dar lington Raceway wont be run until May but if you buy tickets to the race by you will re ceive an audio Great Darlington Finishes that features Motor Racing Network accounts of eight of the leg endary tracks more memorable Narrated by Eli the CDs running time is approximately 3O For more call tollfree or visit Stewarts championship puts him in select company Tony Stewart became the 14th driver to win more than one champi onship in NASCARs premier The others are Buck Dale Tim Jeff Ned Terry David Lee Richard Herb Darrell Joe Weatherly and Cale The record holders are Earnhardt and Richard each with YOUR TURIN LETTERS FROM OUR READERS Folks in Great White North missing out on Waltrip Im so pleased that our news paper runs a full page of NASCAR This My husband wouldnt miss You have one of the best in the whole Can you please let me know what became of Darrell Waltrip Emily Le Blanc New Brunswick Canada Thanks for the Most people in the States know what became of Darrell Wal Once he Waltrip became the colorful race ana lyst for Fox Were sor ry you apparently miss out on his offbeat observations during the first half of the when Fox and FX handle the race Why dont lapped cars move to the top of the track I watch NASCAR every I think it would be a good idea for the lapped cars to pull on the outside of the leadlap cars on a caution so that the lead lap cars dont have to race to the pitcommitment line and get caught speeding on pit Mike Sanders We think the reason the lapped cars are placed on the inside at least in to give them a reasonable chance to regain spots on the lead lap once the racing Were not sure changing the align ment would prevent speeding penalties on pit but thanks for letting us know how you   

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