Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Monday, July 05, 2004
Jeff Gordon makes it two straight Nextel Cup wins
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports are the new kings of NASCAR plate racing.
Gordon proved Saturday night his victory at Talladega in April was no fluke, leaving the favored Dale Earnhardt Inc. duo of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip and everyone else behind in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
"Wow! Wow! Wow!" Gordon said. "This is a big one. What an awesome show by Hendrick Motorsports."
It was Gordon's second victory in a row, fourth of the season and 68th of his career. He also became the first driver to win this race from the pole since Cale Yarborough in 1981.
Gordon, who wound up leading a race-high 61 laps, gave series leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson a lot of credit.
"He gave me a push out there that no one else out there would have given me," Gordon said. "I owe this win to him and I owe him a push and the next time I'm going to give him one."
The four-time series champion, already the leader among active Nextel Cup drivers in victories at Daytona and Talladega, the tracks where NASCAR requires horsepower-robbing carburetor restrictor plates to keep the cars under 200 mph, came up with his eighth plate victory and second in a row.
At Talladega, Earnhardt, considered by many the guy to beat at every plate race, was mounting a late challenge to Gordon when a caution flag with three laps remaining gave Gordon the victory, bringing a wave of beer cans and seat cushions raining down on the track from unhappy Earnhardt fans.
This time, there was little question. Every time he got behind, Gordon was able to work his way back to the lead.
With Johnson, whose car Gordon owns, giving him a solid push, Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet took the lead for the final time on the 154th of 160 laps on the 2 1/2-mile oval, passing Tony Stewart and pulling away.
It finished with Johnson 0.143 seconds -- about two car-lengths -- behind, followed by Earnhardt, Kurt Busch, Stewart, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte and rookie Brian Vickers.
Waltrip, who combined with Earnhardt to win five of the previous seven Cup races at Daytona, dominated early, leading five times for 57 laps, but fought an ill-handling car and wound up 13th.
Stewart, who was fined $50,000 earlier in the week for hitting Vickers in a postrace altercation last Sunday at Sonoma, was nowhere near the lead until late in the race. He took the top spot on the last series of pit stops when his Joe Gibbs Racing team put on only two tires while the other leaders took four.
Earnhardt, who had a slow stop and had fallen to eighth, got all the way to second on lap 149 before slipping back into the pack again. Meanwhile, Gordon and Johnson hooked up and went after Stewart, moving past him easily 17 laps from the end.
Michael Waltrip was a contender for the win before slipping to 13th. Credit: Autostock
Johnson, with Earnhardt looming in his mirrors, tried to make a move on Gordon, but couldn't catch him.
"Jeff's on his game and he knows how to do this plate racing," Johnson said.
Earnhardt, who won the Daytona 500 in February, said it just wasn't his day.
"We just didn't have the car to do it and we had a terrible day in the pits today," he said. "To win this race, you've got to be in front. I thought we knew that. We just didn't have enough help, but I don't know if that would have mattered."
Johnson came out of the race with the same 27-point lead over Earnhardt he had going in. Gordon moved within 232 points of the leader.
The race, which began two hours late because of rain, ran without interruption and finished after midnight.
Monday, June 28, 2004
Gordon king of the road
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) -- Jeff Gordon wrapped up a near perfect weekend Sunday, starting from the pole and racing to an overpowering victory in the NASCAR race at Infineon Raceway.
Gordon picked up his fourth victory on the 1.99-mile, 10-turn road course, winning for the third time from the pole. It also extended his own Nextel Cup record for road racing wins to eight and gave him three for the season and 67 for his career.
"We've had some bad finishes lately and we wanted this one real bad," said Gordon, who got out of his No. 24 Chevrolet soaked with sweat and just about spent after leading 92 of 110 laps on a hot afternoon at the scenic wine country circuit.
"I drove out and got as big a lead as I could and gave a lot of it up there at the end," said Gordon, who had his overheated driver's seat iced down during his last pit stop. "It was real tough."
Score one for the veterans
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) -- Ron Hornaday Jr. won the Alan Kulwicki 250 on Saturday night at the Milwaukee Mile, taking the lead with seven laps to go after rallying from a lap down.
Hornaday passed Shane Hmiel on the inside, ending Hmiel's chance for his first Busch Series victory.
Hornaday started in the 10th position, and dropped a lap behind when the first caution flag came out while he was in the pits.
"You hate to see that (caution), but you need a cut tire or debris or something so you can get that back," he said.
Friday, June 25, 2004
saturdays Busch race At Kentucky Speedway was great, We had great seats right on turn 1, here's the recap
SPARTA, Ky. (AP) -- Kyle Busch took the lead with three laps to go and held on to win the Meijer 300 on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway for his third Busch Series victory of the year.
The 19-year-old Busch, the brother of Nextel Cup driver Kurt Busch, started from the back of the 43-car field after wrecking his car in practice.
Busch qualified second Friday, but wrecked his Chevrolet during a post-qualifying practice session. Because he used his backup car Saturday, he had to start at the back of the field.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Monday, May 31, 2004
A memorial, Wish You Were Here
So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell,
blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here
A Sad Day
Bad news A good friend of mine's Father has died, the only person I know that treated everybody he met with respect. He'll be missed by many. Let's just hope This will bring the family together rather than break them apart.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Johnson dominates for another Coke 600 win
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) -- This time, Jimmie Johnson overcame the pit road miscue.
The leader virtually all night, Johnson dropped to fifth during a caution but roared back to the lead with 16 laps left Sunday night to win the Coca-Cola 600 for the second straight season.
Buddy Rice Wins Indy 500 in the Rain
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Buddy Rice grabbed the lead after a flurry of early crashes and late pit stops and won a rain-shortened Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
Bruno Junqueira took the lead after a crash by rookie Marty Roth, but Junqueira had to come in for fuel, starting the final scramble for the lead. When Rice came in, Bryan Herta took the lead, then when Herta pitted, Adrian Fernandez went in front.
Fernandez then made his final pit stop and Rice regained the lead with 30 laps remaining. The rain then forced a yellow after 173 laps, and the race was stopped after 180 laps, giving Rice the victory.