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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 25, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4E —Herald-Zstung — Sunday, December 25, 2005THIS WEEK BURNINQ ISSUES POTLIGHT j HE SAID WHAT? Some are insightful. Some are humorous. Some are wacky and inexplicable. For a variety of reasons, the following is a collection of remarks made during the season just completed: ► “I don't think speed has a lot to do with racing, and I know that sounds stupid." — Kyl« Petty ► “A lot of racing is common sense, but sometimes it doesn't come into effect." — Sterling Marlin ► “Either way you look at it, it equiv-alates to money." — Jeff Gordon, creating a new word when asked why so many Cup drivers also race in the Busch Series. ► “We always work these races backward. You really don't pay attention to how many laps you've run. You pay attention to how many laps you have left." — Tony Stewart ► “The more you stay on the throttle here, the faster you're going to go." — Joe Nemechek, making a point that is hard to dispute. ► “I don't think anyone is wishing us bad luck, but in the back of their minds, if it happens, they're not going to be disappointed.” — points leader Stewart, during the Chase. ► “I say if the race is too boring, stay home." — Mark Martin ► “You've got guys like Mark Martin ... who try to be as fit as we can, and you’ve got guys like Tony Stewart who admittedly exercises by changing the channels on his TV. Mark and Tony are both fast. They go about it different ways.’’ — Carl Edwards ► “I love this kind of racing, (but) these guys sure change their personalities in race mode. They're like Doberman pinschers with a hand grenade in their mouths." — road racer Boris Said ► “I stepped on that big motor, and it was like stepping on a cat’s tail, and it went right around." — Martin, describing a spin. • YOUR TURN • LETTERS FROM OUR READERS Manufacturer’s title not based on win percentage In your ‘Burning Issues” column (Nov. 14), the manufacturing championship is clinched by Chevrolet with 16 wins while Ford has 14 wins. Also in the column is reference to No. 8’s (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) percentage of laps led. lf NASCAR did a percentage of cars entered to wins, Ford would be way ahead. Am I wrong? Jim Peterson Venice, Fla. No, you're not wrong, but that's not the way the manufacturer points are determined. In each race, the winner’s make gets nine points, the next-highest finishing make gets six and the third gets four, lf, for instance, Fords finished 1-2-3-4, they would still only get nine points, and in that instance, if a Chevrolet finished fifth, it would get six points, and regardless of where the top Dodge finished, It would get four points. That's the system in place, and it's been that way for many years. I. FOF Nits AND I ORFhr* y_ y Ii * / r 11 > t    r    /•-/    /    / / ^    ' a / A 'rV^TT/A/or f    sn    —~IAI * /J► lf you have a question or a comment, write: NASCAR This Week, c/o The Gaston Gazette, RO. Box 1893, Gastonia, NC 28053 Never was a book more aptly titled than ‘Donnie Allison: As I Recall" (with Jimmy Creed, foreword by Larry McReynolds), published by SportsPublishing LLC. The autobiography, which sells for $19.95, is a frank account of a ‘golden era’ in stock-car racing, the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Donnie Allison, often overshadowed by his older brother Bobby, enjoyed a fine career himself and once finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500. He's always been known for "telling it like it is," and this book doesn't fail in that category. It can be ordered at cggyg for ctMMgM NASCAR lost its reigning champion when Joe Weatherly lost his life in a race in Riverside, Calif., on Jan. 19,1964. Weatherly, from Norfolk. Va., had won Grand National titles in each of the previous two seasons. The Riverside event was officially the fifth race of the 1964 season, and Weatherly's death led to safety improvements, in the fatal crash, Weatherly had been wearing only a lap belt. Shoulder harnesses were made mandatory shortly thereafter. a Penske-Jasper Racing recently announced it would not field the No. 77 Dodge for driver Travis Kvapil in 2006. lf the No. 77. which finished 34th in the 2005 owner standings, does not enter the Daytona 500, its automatic spot in the starting field would slide down to the 36th-piace finisher, Morgan-McClure Racing. a It would be a bit ironic if Mor-gan-McClure’s No. 4 Chevrolet benefits from the No. 77‘s departure. Kodak sponsored Larry McClure’s car for many years, and Kodak’s departure has apparently been the determining factor in the No. 77’s withdrawal from regular competition. ► Yet to be determined is just who will drive the Morgan-McClure car. TWO possibilities are Scott Wimmer, late of Bill Davis' No. 22 Dodge, and, in yet another irony, Kvapil. p The impending resurfacing of Talladega Superspeedway will have a much less dramatic effect than a*, most tracks. Usually a new coat of asphalt causes the quality of racing to deteriorate for several years until the pavement cures and becomes a bit worn, ► That won’t apply to the restric-tor-plate racing at Talladega, or so says 1999 champion Dale Jarrett. ‘We won't be dealing with a single-groove track that some other resurfacing projects have presented at other tracks because it’s a different type of racing," he said. ► Toyota s decision to pull out of the Indy Racing League could hasten its entry into Nextel Cup. Some expect a January announcement that Toyota will enter Nextel Cup and Busch Series competition in 2007. ► Did you notice Tony Stewart on the sidelines during the Washington Redskins’ 35-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday? Stewart, whose car owner is Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, is a football fan whose loyalties are divided between Gibbs' Redskins and the Indianapolis Colts of his native state. ► A lot of attention will be focused in 2006 on the progress of Petty Enterprises, where three former champions — driver Bobby Laborite and crew chiefs Robbie Loomis and Todd Parrott — have been hired. ► Is there any doubt that the Craftsman Truck Series has become NASCAR*s Senior Tour? The top six drivers in the points standings were all 40-somethings. ... and eight of the top IO. Robby Gordon Nextel Cup Series No. 7 Jim Beam Chevrolet By Monte Dutton NASCAR This Week be Mark's last Challenge," said Roush. As it turned out, that wasn't the half of it. Roush ended up asking Martin to come back for another year. Martin agreed out of gratitude to Roush, insisting all the while that he would prefer to compete in the Craftsman Truck Series next year “for fun.” In preparation for what he thought would be his final season, Martin had put together a farewell tour, "Salute to You,” which he saw as a tribute not to himself but to his fans. A piece of the action No pit-crew competition was conducted during Nextel's first season, 2004, as corporate sponsor of NASCAR's premier series. The official competition had been held at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham for decades, but that site became unavailable when it was sold and essentially put out of business. In response, the Crew Chiefs Club put together a new competition at a pit-crew training facility in Mooresville, N.C. Apparently, NASCAR officials weren’t pleased that a separate body had put together a new competition. By early this year, Nextel and NASCAR had put together a much grander spectacle at Charlotte Coliseum. Both were held in May. The crew of Kurt Busch won one; Kasey Kahne's crew won the other. The likelihood when 2006 rolls around is that the Nextel competition will have succeeded in its presumed mission of running the other out of business. More than he asked for ... Senegal Soiree Gordon hopes to be first American to win Dakar Rally When Mark Martin won the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May, he said to owner Jack Roush, via radio right after the race, "I'll be back if you'll give me a ride.” At the time, Martin was talking about the specific race, an annual all-star event. “I'm holding out hope that this won’t Til " Martin By Monte Dutton NASCAR This Week What could be better for Robby Gordon than to celebrate the new year in Senegal? For the second consecutive year, the 37-year-old Gordon will compete in the Dakar Rally, which begins on Dec. 31 in Lisbon, Portugal and winds up 6,500 miles later on Jan. 15 in Dakar, Senegal after crossing Spain, the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Guinea. Last year, driving for the German Volkswagen team, Gordon became the first American ever to win a stage in the race, eventually winning two of the 16 en route to an 12th-place overall finish. “The logistics involved are mind numbing,” he said. “This year we’ve entered and built a car out of my own race team in the States, and the thought of building cars and support vehicles here to race in Europe and Africa is itself intimidating. But then, when you add to it that these support trucks and 16 crew members have to follow the race car down the same race course to work on the car after every stage, it’s beyond intimidating. “I like to tell people it’s like running 16 Daytona 500s or Indy 500s in a row, but you don’t have a garage to work from. You can’t go to an auto-parts store and buy what you need to fix or replace a broken part. If you don’t have it with you, you’re in trouble. You have to think of every possible item that can break on a car, and bring four of them with you.” Gordon, a six-time SCORE Off-Road Champion and a two-time winner of the famed Baja 1000 in addition to countless other off-road races in North America, will drive a specially prepared Hummer H3 on Toyo Tires with sponsorship from Jim Beam. Gordon is hoping to become the first American to win the famed Dakar Rally in its 28-year history. Contact Monte Dutton at [email protected] John Clark/NASCAR This Week Nextel Cup driver and off-road racing veteran Robby Gordon It hoping to become the first American to win the famed Dakar Rally in Its 28-year history. “I like to tell people it’s like running 16 Daytona 500s or Indy 500s in a row, but you don’t have a garage to work from.” Robby Gordon ;