Charlotte Race Recap

The Key Moment – Ryan Newman was forced to short pit with a vibration in the car. Running on fresher tires allowed him to take the lead but he couldn’t hold off Tony Stewart on much fresher tires at the end.


In a Nutshell – Saturday night’s race won’t go down on list of Charlotte classics, but at least it wasn’t decided on fuel mileage.

Dramatic Moment – Watching Stewart stalk, run down and pass Newman in the final thirty laps.

Any time the 29 car and the 17 car were nose to tail.

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

When was the last time a network didn’t stick around to interview a Winston Cup race winner (or anyone else for that matter?) Apparently Stewart was told to hurry to Victory Lane but chose to celebrate for the fans. Please don’t write me. I can’t do a thing about it. Write NBC.

Is Tony Stewart going to get fined for his post-race profanity on PRN? Maybe that’s why NBC cut away rather than showing the victory lane celebration.

Is Harvick going to wreck out Matt Kenseth to try to gain some points in the championship battle?

What’s got into Bill Elliott lately. He looks like the Awesome Bill of old.

Was there enough time for fans who attended the Busch race to sober up so they could get drunk all over again during the Cup race?

Benny Parsons, during the Busch race broadcast; “The leader is still leading.” Who does he think he is, Yogi Berra?

What were race officials thinking sending a flatbed truck across pit road during the fourth caution period with cars entering and exiting pit lane?

Have you ever wondered how many truckloads of toilet paper are consumed during a Winston Cup race weekend? No, me either.


The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

For the third straight week Elliott Sadler was involved in a hard wreck. His first spin Saturday night didn’t finish the job, so fate served up a second dose of misfortune.

Robby Gordon outran his talent again.

Kurt Busch fought a loose race car all night. He spun to bring out the first caution, then hit the wall and got into the fence again trying to make it back to the pits to bring out the fifth caution.

Rusty Wallace’s efforts were hampered by not one but two pit road speeding violations.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Ryan Newman wasn’t able to win but he was able to hold off all but one driver while the rest of the pack had much fresher rubber.

Matt Kenseth survived a slide battling with Kevin Harvick and the loss of the cap from his power steering pump to come home with a respectable eighth place finish.

When Bill Elliott pitted under the third caution flag the team found out he had a tire going flat.

Jimmie Johnson almost spun racing Bobby Labonte late in the race, and missed his pit stall during a stop he probably shouldn’t have been making anyway. He bounced back from last car on the lead lap to a third place finish.

NASCAR managed to get the Busch and Winston Cup races in despite threatening forecasts all weekend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team found an equalized tire on the 8 car after it was pushed out on the grid prior to the race.


Worth Noting

Tony Stewart had never won at Charlotte prior to Saturday night. (And one can only guess the Lowes folks were less than delighted.) But he has top 6 finishes in six of the last seven points races run at Lowes Motor Speedway. The win was Stewart’s fourth straight top 5 finish. His other win this season was Pocono in June.

Jeff Gordon finished fifth for the fourth straight week.

Bill Elliot has top 5 finishes in three of the last five races and hasn’t finished worth than fourteenth during that stretch.

The top 10 finishers drove six Chevrolets, three Chevys and a lone Ford. The best finishing Pontiac was Johnny Benson in sixteenth.

Jamie McMurray in seventh was the top finishing rookie. He also had the best Winston Cup finish of the eleven drivers who ran in Saturday’s Busch and Winston Cup events. McMurray and Kevin Harvick had top 10 finishes in both races.

Matt Kenseth leads all drivers this year with 23 top ten finishes. Ryan Newman has the most top 5 finishes with fourteen. Jeff Gordon is second in that regard with twelve top 5s, including the last four consecutive races.

Ryan Newman has six straight top 10 finishes including three wins.

Mark Martin in eleventh had his best finish since coming home tenth at Watkins Glen.

Kurt Busch hasn’t had a top 5 finish since winning the Bristol night race. He has two straight DNFs.

Kevin Harvick has four straight top 10 finishes.

Bobby Labonte scored his first top 10 finish since Richmond in September.

What’s the Points?

Matt Kenseth stopped the hemorrhaging and actually made up a few points on second place points man Kevin Harvick. He now leads by 267 points with five races left to run.

Inside the top 10 Tony Stewart bypassed teammate Bobby Labonte to take over seventh spot. Terry Labonte also capitalized on Kurt Busch’s problems to take over ninth spot. Busch is five points behind Labonte in tenth.

No driver advanced more than one spot in the standings Saturday night. Other notables who moved up a spot are Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Burton. (Twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth.) Saturday night’s big loser was Robby Gordon who tumbled three spots to fifteenth.

Matt Kenseth’s magic number is down to 10. (If Kenseth finishes tenth or better or averages a tenth place finish in the final five races, Harvick can’t beat him for the title even if Kevin wins the final five races and leads the most points in each.)

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) Give it two cans of lukewarm generic stuff. It wasn’t a very good race by Charlotte standards proving it takes more than running under the lights to make for good racing.

Next Up – It’s off to Martinsville for a little short track frammin’ and bammin’ in the last short track race of the year.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2003

Photos

  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • From the Archives: Martinsville Speedway
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • GEICO 500
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega
  • From the Archives: Talladega

Advertisement

  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites