New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 8, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Dale Jarratt vs. NASCAR officials
Jarrett was penalized for speed ing on pit road, and it's happened several times this year to the driver generally considered one of the more patient in the sport. Officials alleged ly monitor pit-road speeds electronically but do not provide proof to document which drivers are speeding and which aren’t. “I'm not sure how that happens when you're following a car and you’re right on his bumper, but, anyhow, I guess they know how," Jarrett said.
NASCAR This Week’s Monte Dutton gives his take: ‘It seems
odd, I admit, to use a pit-road penalty in the feud.’ But speeding isn’t so much a problem at Talladega. To a man, the drivers basically blamed the multicar pileups on the restrictor plates, not the actions of individual drivers.’
Gordon always seems to gat benefit of the doubt
Are you kidding me? Everyone labelling the incident at Martinsville between Hurt Busch and Jeff Gordon (Feud of the Week, April 12) as “racing for position’ is pathetic. When the two of them made contact, Busch was well ahead of Gordon for the bottom line. And then to see Gordon turn up the track when they made contact proved to me that, in fact, Gordon did spin out Busch, lf that had been Tony Stewart spinning out Busch, he would have been labelled “impatient," “wreck-less” and any other word Darrell Waltrip could have dreamed up. And that's a fact!
Could it be that Gordon seems to "get away" with more because he plays it so cool after the race is over? lf Stewart had spun out Busch in the way Gordon might have, he would have been more forthcoming about his strategy.
LEGENDS AND LORE *
Brickyard has surprising Influence on Darlington
Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the inspiration in many ways for Darlington Raceway, whose founder, designer and builder, Harold Brasing-ton, decided to build the track after attending the Indy 500. That s also the reason the first race at the track, in 1950, was set at 500 miles and, indirectly, why so many of the major stock-car races since have been run at that distance.
Banking In straights
INI THE SPOTLIGHT
Page 4E — Herald-Zettung — Sunday, May 8,2005
S. Johnny Benson -153
9. Chad Chaffin
IO. Matt Crafton
I. Jimmie Johnson 1,368
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
I. Carl Edwards
Martin Truex Jr.
Denny Hamlin___- 333
IO. Kenny Wallace
Craftsman Truck Series
► lf you have a question or a comment, write: NASCAR This Week, c/o The Gaston Gazette, PO. Box 1893, Gastonia, NC 28053
Race: Dodge Charger 500 Where: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366 miles), 367 laps/501.322 miles.
When: Saturday. May 7 Last year’s winner: Jimmie Johnson
Qualifying record: Ward Burton, Pontiac, 173.797 mph, March 22, 1996.
Race record: David Pearson, Ford, 132.703 mph, May ll, 1968.
Last week: As witnessed by a dominating victory in the Aaron's 499, at Talladega Superspeedway, Jeff Gordon, who won't turn 34 until August, has already done enough, in a span of nine races, to satisfy most of his
peers for a season. He's won the season’s biggest race (Daytona 500) as well as the races on the shortest (Mar tinsville) and longest (Tallade ga) tracks. Gordon's the sea son's only three time winner. Gordon stayed clear of trou ble because he was perpetu ally in front of it. He led 139 of a possible 194 laps in a race extended by what he had dreaded: the “green white-checkered finish.’ Over time gave the drafting tan dem of two more Chevrolet drivers, Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip, one last shot at Gordon, but even together, they didn't have the muscle.
rn mjn*zK i ± ml
Race: Diamond Hill Plywood 200
Where: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366 miles), 147 laps/200.802 miles.
When: Friday, May 6 Last year's winner Greg Bittie
Qualifying record: Ryan New man, Ford. 170.301 mph, March 16, 2001.
Race record: Michael Wal trip, Pontiac, 138.140 mph, Sept. 5, 1992.
Last week: Martin Truex Jr., in a Chevrolet, won the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Race: (JAW GM Ohio 250 Where Mansfield (Ohio) Mo-torsports Speedway (0.44 miles), 250 laps/110 miles. When: Sunday, May 15 Last year's winner: Jack Sprague
Qualifying record: Qualifying rained out last year (first year of race).
Race record: Jack Sprague, Chevrolet, 54.706 mph, May 16, 2004.
Last week: Ted Musgrave, in a Dodge, won the Dodge Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, III.
S Another Nextel Cup race has been completed at Talladega Superspeedway, and every single driver walked away from a 25-car crash. Yes. Virginia, the cars have gotten much safer in the aftermath of Dale Earnhardt's tragic death in 2001.
S It takes a great deal of skill to win a restrictor-plate race, but it's not the same type of skill In play at other tracks. Plate racing is high-speed decision-making, not seat-of-the-pants racing.
► In a sense, Jeff Gordon’s victory was fitting. He's an expert at every kind of racing imaginable. The tougher the track, the better he is.
S Michael Waltrip finished third, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was competitive, but ifs back to the drawing boards at Dale Earnhardt Inc. The team's advantage at Talladega and Daytona has evaporated.
Chevrolets have won 13 consecutive races at Talladega. How can that be a coincidence?
► Gordon has now won four times at Talladega, one less than Earnhardt Jr., and he's won ll restrictor-plate races, the most of any active driver.
► Gordon's now won the season's biggest race, the Daytona 500, as well as the events on the longest (Talladega) and shortest (Martinsville) tracks.
► Gordon's got a potential “grand slam" going. No one’s ever swept the four restrictor-plate races in a single year, and he's halfway there.
► Earnhardt Jr., of course, is the only driver ever to win four consecutive races at Talladega, and his late father is the track's all-time leader in victories with IO.
► Next up is Darlington, where Gordon is just four victories shy of David Pearson's all-time record for victories (IO), and three shy of Dale Earnhardt's career total.
Contact Monte Dutton at [email protected]
Joe NEMECHEK No. OI U.S. Army Chevrolet
lf it weren't for bad luck, Nemechek might have no luck at all
By Monte Dutton
NASCAR This Week
TALLADEGA, Ala. - The season to date has been a frustrating one for Joe Nemechek, the 41-year-old veteran and former Busch Series champion from Lakeland, Fla.
Four times, Nemechek has won Cup races, the most recent being at Kansas Speedway last fall. And he feels as if his team, MB2 Motorsports, is giving him competitive cars at virtually every track. Good fortune has eluded him, though, and he finds himself 24th in the Nextel Cup standings this week.
“It seems like some drivers have more bad luck than others,” said Nemechek. “In my case ... I still think this can be my best year in Cup racing.
“The team has done everything they said they wanted to do. All we wanted to do is be consistent, get a top-10. If we can do that every weekend, we’re going to be a threat for the championship. You just look back at what ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda,’ and, heck, we’d be easy top-10 in the points. And that didn’t happen. Being a bad-luck magnet? Yeah, sometimes I feel like, yes, all this stuff does come at me.”
Nemechek considers his experience an advantage both in improving his team’s performance and coping with adversity.
“I’m there to get the most out of my equipment that I can,” he said. “You can’t, I guess the best word I can use is, ‘overuse’ your equipment. You’re not going to finish. There are a lot of guys that don’t take care of their equipment and can’t finish, but I’ve always been a pretty smart driver, trying to stay out of the accidents, trying not to abuse the engine, the transmission, the rear-end gear.
“Sometimes things happen, but you just can’t say, ‘hey, my car’s good and I’m just going to go out and stay out of trouble today.’ I mean, you have to do that all the time. Ifs just not whenever you have a good car.”
John Clsrk/NASCAR This Week
Joe Nemechek and his 7-year-old son, John Hunter, watch the action during Daytona 500 qualifying earlier this season. Nemechek is currently 24th in the points race.
“Being a bad-luck magnet? Yeah, sometimes I feel like, yes, all this stuff does come at me."
Dodge Charger 5 OO
Diamond Hill Plywood 200, 7 p.m., Friday
UAW-GM Ohio 250, 2 p.m., May 15
Length of frontstretch:. ...1,22 Length of backstretch:. ...1,229 ft Mlles/Laps:..400.2 mi. - 293 laps
All times Eastern
Dodge Charger 500, 7 p.m., Saturday