Matts New Hampshire Recap

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The Key Moment – Ryan Newman’s team was able to get him out of the pits the fastest of any of the lead cars in the crucial sequence of stops just past the halfway point.


In a Nutshell- Worth waiting for. Maybe not worth waiting that long for, but worth waiting for.


Dramatic Moment- The final twenty five laps of racing waiting to see when the rain would fall and who would have the lead at the time had fans on their feet.


What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

Can you believe NASCAR got that race in?

Well, you figured as many times as he finished second Newman would win one eventually, didn’t you?

Did you catch that IRL race at Texas? Shades of the 1992 Cup season finale!

Would Busch have gone ahead and moved Newman out of the way if he hadn’t been in trouble already with NASCAR this season?

You figure Newman might talk above a monotone if his underwear burst into flames?

What’s wrong with Jeff Gordon? His losing streak is now up to two races!

So you figure Tony Stewart is going to get in hot water for rubbing Ryan’s head too hard after the race?

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

Johnny Benson had the lead but tangled with Mike Wallace trying to put him two laps down which allowed Newman and Busch to get past the 10 car.

Seriously I wouldn’t stand within a country mile of Ward Burton during an electrical storm his luck is so bad. First he hits someone in the pits, then he tangles with John Andretti on the track and NASCAR won’t even throw the caution flag they were so desperate for the race to reach the halfway point.

Like Kyle Petty needs anymore problems at NHIS. Rusty Wallace ran him over.

After a solid day in qualifying on Friday, the best Petty Engineering had to show after the race was 22nd for Andretti.

Kevin Harvick cut down a tire in spectacular fashion just before the midway point of the race.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

For Newman that rain couldn’t have come at a better time. Busch was clearly giving him all he could handle.

Mark Martin cut down a tire then had a pit stop you could have timed with a sun dial, but still took the points lead.

Ricky Craven was apparently nursing a flat tire there at the end, but he thrilled his home area fans with a sixth place finish. Headlines in Maine tomorrow will read, “Craven Finishes Sixth-Another car wins.”

It’s the Pits

Newman drove a hard race all day, but it was his pit crew that sealed the deal for the young man on that last stop.

Both Robby and Jeff Gordon were able to advance a lot of positions by only changing two tires on the final stop, but neither was a factor in the race.

Worth Noting

Newman is the second rookie to win a race this season, but has to win another one to match Jimmie Johnson’s two victories.

Newman became the third driver to win from the pole position this year. The other two were Bill Elliott (Indy) and Jeff Gordon (Bristol.)

His second place finish was Kurt Busch’s first top 5 since the second Pocono race.

Michael Waltrip’s 8th place finish was his first top 10 on an oval since winning at Daytona in July. (He did finish ninth at Watkins Glen.)

Yes, he won twice, but Jeff Gordon has finished outside the top 10 in four of the last six Cup races. They still need to improve.

His fifth place finish was Bobby Labonte’s first top 5 since he won Martinsville, the eighth race of the season.

Johnny Benson’s fourth place finish was his first top 5 of the 2002 Cup season.

Ken Schrader’s 13th place result was his best of the 2002 season.

Rusty Wallace has only two top ten finishes in the last eight Cup races, both of them second place results.

What’s the Points?

For the first time since the conclusion of the second race of the season Sterling Marlin has lost the points lead. Mark Martin assumes the point and leads Marlin by six markers (no pun intended) now.

His win advanced Ryan Newman two positions to eighth in the standings. Tony Stewart bypassed Jeff Gordon to take over 4th in the standings.

Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Ricky Rudd all slipped a spot in the standings to fifth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) – We’ll give this one five cans of slightly watery but very cool beer.

Next Up – We’re off to the white cliffs of Dover with the championship chase in high gear. Remember that Alan Kulwicki left Dover after the fall race third in the points 278 markers behind Bill Elliott. Right now ten drivers are within 278 points of Martin and an eleventh, Kurt Busch, is only 14 points beyond that. The bootleg championship T-shirts are going to be late arriving from Hong Kong if this keeps up.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2002

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