Sonoma Race Recap

The Key Moment – Robby Gordon had better forward bite off of turn 11 in the waning laps and was able to make up enough distance to hold off Gordon who gained on him in other parts of the course just long enough.


In a Nutshell – Road course races are decided in the pits. I say it’s time to scrap em.

Dramatic Moment – There’s no love lost between Robby and Jeff Gordon after Robby punted Jeff to take his first career win at NHIS in 2001. Waiting to see if Jeff could get to the 31 and spin him was tense.

Ron Fellows made the move of the race ducking inside of Kevin Harvick and Robby Gordon as they battled for the lead and passing both of them.

When Jeff Burton, Scott Pruett and Kurt Busch tried going three wide near the front of the pack they spun out and blocked the entire track.

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

OK, how many corners are there at Sears Point? Mike Joy said ten, Larry McReynolds said thirteen and the Press and Preview Guide says there’s eleven, but doesn’t count the kink to the left after turn 11 but prior to the start finish line. But turns 5 and 6 aren’t part of the Winston Cup course. There are however turns listed as 1A, 3A, 4A and 8A in addition to turns 1,3,4 and 8 which makes Joy’s number correct. But then how is the last corner number 11? I say turn the place into an oval and be done with it.

Anyone else remember Boris Said laying in wait for Rich Bickle and hitting him so hard that Bickle’s truck went off the course and flipped at Sonoma back in 1997? It cost Bickle the championship.

How many folks you reckon stuck around for the Trans Am race after the Cup event?

Why’d they throw a full course caution for Matt Kenseth’s tire cap laying at the entrance to the pits? Couldn’t someone behind the wall have just snagged it with a pole or might it not have been better to just close pit road until the debris was clear?

For that matter why didn’t NASCAR throw a caution flag when three cars spun out simultaneously and blocked the entire track? Or in the aftermath when Blaney was crawling around the track shedding parts? Was this one of those races NASCAR decided to orchestrate rather than officiate?

What got into Jeff Burton today? He may as well been driving the Lethal Weapon car.

Did Hideo Fukuyama park his car on pit road to bring out the caution?

The Coors Light team participates in the McDonalds-PowerAde pit challenge? You mean Coors Light isn’t a sports drink?

What in blazes was Kyle Petty thinking when he pulled out in front of Jack Sprague?

Scott Pruett returns to Winston Cup racing and wrecks. Who’d have thunk?

Think Christian Fittipaldi ought to play the Power Ball tomorrow? He hit everything else so far this week.

We’re done with that Waltrip character for another year, right?

When did we start racing to the caution flag on road course anyway?


The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

There’s a certain bunny that won’t be joining the Jimmie Johnson fan club any time soon. It’s an ex-rabbit, previously animated…..

You gotta figure the Nextel people aren’t thrilled the Cingular car won the first race after they announced they’ll take over as title sponsor next year.

I’ve seen cars that finished up second in a demolition derby in better shape than Kyle Petty’s after Sunday’s race. With the 43 car also torn to bits it’ll be a busy week in the fab shops at Petty Engineering. The guys at Roush Racing have some late nights ahead of them as well particularly trying to figure out which end of the 97 car is the front.

Ron Fellows clearly had a car that might have contended for the win were it not for bad pit strategy and getting spun out by Jeremy Mayfield racing to the caution flag.

Dave Blaney was acquitting himself well running in the top 10 when he got a piece of a wreck not of his own making and cut down a front tire.

Jimmy Spencer wrecked and FOX wouldn’t even discuss the incident. That’s gotta cause Sirius self-esteem issues.

Steve Park had nowhere to go when Kyle Petty pulled out right in front of Jack Sprague.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s jackman broke his hand in a fall on pit road.

Greg Biffle had a good run going but ran out of gas just past the pit entrance.

Mark Martin is a great road racer but too many of the road course Mad Dogs used his rear bumper as a chew toy on Sunday.


The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Robbie Gordon won the race despite a nasty case of food poisoning. He also thought he had a tire going down late.

Bill Elliott had a strong fourth place run despite a still healing foot.

Bobby Labonte got spun out twice but still managed a top 10 finish.

It wasn’t a bad weekend for Kevin Harvick who won the Southwest Tour race and finished third in the Cup race.

Matt Kenseth cut down a tire, but did it right at the entrance to pit road. Another fifty yards and that would have been a disaster.

Jeff Gordon is the consummate “Big Picture” racer. He couldn’t catch Robby Gordon at the end but he made major strides in the points moving into second place.

Larry McReynolds voice didn’t sound like it would have lasted another 10 laps. He can now rest his vocal cords (and his ears considering he sits next to DW) until next February.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to claw his way back up to 11th despite getting punted by Kurt Busch while Junior was slowing to avoid Jeff Burton who’d just punted Rusty Wallace. Is Roush Racing tag team wrestling now?

Rusty Wallace got a top ten finish despite brake system problems.


Worth Noting

Ryan Newman has top 10 finishes in all three of his Winston Cup road course starts.

Dale Jarrett has won finished 32nd or worse in six of the last seven races.

The last words of this season’s FOX broadcast were Bob Seger singing “Next time we’ll get it right.” Here’s hoping. (And at the risk of sounding like Mike McCarthy, wow, what great musical selections today with the Grateful Dead, Jackson Brown and Bob Seger. Yes, kids he was real big even before the Chevy truck ads. Thanks to Neil Goldberg.)

Boris Said had the best finish of the road course ringers finishing sixth, one spot ahead of Ron Fellows.

Robby Gordon’s second Winston Cup win moves him into a tie with Gober Sosebee and Emmanuel Zervakis (among others). Who you might ask? They’ll be asking the same thing about Robby Gordon in ten years.

Jeff Gordon’s second place check makes him the first driver in the history of Sears Point to earn over three million dollars at the track.

Jamie McMurray had the best finish by a rookie coming home 20th.

Chevrolet drivers claimed half the spots in the top ten including first, second and third. There were also four Dodges and a Pontiac in the top 10. Ford was locked out of the top 10 with Matt Kenseth who finished fourteenth the best of the Blue Oval Brigade.

Ken Schrader completed more than ten times the amount of laps Sunday compared to the last two races combined, and he came home 33rd anyway.

Bobby Labonte now has top 10 finishes in seven of the last eight races. He leads all drivers with nine top 5 finishes to date this season. Matt Kenseth missed the top 10 for only the third time this season and leads all drivers with thirteen top 10s.

Jeremy Mayfield scored his second top 10 of the season.

What’s the Points?

Matt Kenseth hangs onto his points lead and is now 174 points ahead of new second place man Jeff Gordon. Considering Kenseth’s results on road courses it could have been a lot worse. Dale Earnhardt Jr. slips to third just two points behind Gordon but a plate race is next and the 8 car runs well at Daytona.

Michael Waltrip and Kurt Busch swapped fifth and sixth place with Waltrip now ahead of Busch.

Kevin Harvick advanced two spots to ninth pushing Mark Martin back out of the top 10 to twelfth. Sterling Marlin fell a spot to tenth in the standings.

Dale Jarrett must be whistling “Free Falling” as he tumbles another three spots to 29th. Joe Nemechek dropped two spots to twentieth in the standings.

Robby Gordon is this week’s big gainer up three spots to thirteenth.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) – Two glasses of Mad Dog 20/20, the official wine of NASCAR.

Next Up – A week off. (The last one) Then a plate race. Then Joliet. Then New Hampshire. Real racing returns at Pocono July 27th then takes another three weeks off. This has got to be the worst stretch of the season.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2003

Photos

  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • Windows 10 400
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Jeff Gordon Day Parade
  • Jeff Gordon Day Parade
  • Jeff Gordon Day Parade
  • Jeff Gordon Day Parade
  • Jeff Gordon Day Parade
  • 5-hour ENERGY 301
  • 5-hour ENERGY 301
  • 5-hour ENERGY 301
  • 5-hour ENERGY 301
  • 5-hour ENERGY 301

Advertisement

You may unsubscribe at any time.
Motor Racing Network
555 MRN Drive
Concord, NC 28027
www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
(704)262-6700
feedback@mrn.com
  • © 2015 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites