Pemberton Misses Qualifying

FORT WORTH – NASCAR Winston Cup Series competitor Rusty Wallace was without his ride-hand man Friday in qualifying for the Harrah’s 500 at Texas Motor Speedway because his crew chief, Robin Pemberton, is trying to recover from health problems.

Wallace could have used Pemberton's help Friday, as he was only 38th fastest in qualifying.

Pemberton didn’t make the trip to Texas, instead opting to stay at his North Carolina home while doctors try to get to the bottom of his problems. Pemberton had undergone a recent stress test and returned Tuesday for a heart catherization, which didn’t reveal any blocked arteries. Friday, Pemberton returned for a follow-up visit for examination of his carotid artery.

Initially, Pemberton said he wasn’t ruling out that he could be at the track by race time Sunday, but he has since decided to stay in North carolina.

According to Pemberton, his main objective at this point is getting his health back in order.

“I was really feeling pretty normal as far as being run down and stressed out - just like about 400 other friends of mine feel like everyday - but my family doctor didn't like the way I was looking and he told me to come in for some tests,” Pemberton said. “I went in the week of Bristol and had a stress test, where they put me on a treadmill and looked at how my heart was working.

“They thought there might be some sort of blockage, but when I went back on Tuesday, and they did the heart catheterization, they said everything looked fine. There was nothing closed up and they said my heart test was OK.”

Right now, Pemberton is taking things a step at a time.

“When you do the things we're all doing and you get to a point where you can't shake that feeling of being tired and you're out of energy, you need to get checked out,” Pemberton said. “Maybe more people will get looked at as a result of this because we're going to more of these races than ever before, and it can take a toll on you physically.”

In the event Pemberton wasn’t able to make it to Texas, Jeffrey Thousand will more than likely be taking his place atop the pit box.

Major Impact: Not only does Texas Motor Speedway bring in the largest crowd for a spectator sport in the state when the Winston Cup Series pays it’s annual visit, but it also bring a lot of extra money into the Dallas-Fort Worth area economy… to the tune of more than $165 million.

According to the Sports Business Journal, the Winston Cup race at Texas brings in more money than the Kentucky Derby, The Masters, The U.S. Open and the all-star game for Major League Baseball.

“We’ve been blessed with tremendous support locally and internationally, and those fans from around the world spend a tremendous amount of money in this area,” said Eddie Gossage, executive vice president and general manager at TMS.

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