Upcoming Events in the World of NASCAR.If you're looking for a fan of races at Martinsville, don't look at me. I have never felt that any track with a qualifying speed less than 100 mph should be a part of NASCAR's top circuit. However, yesterday's DirecTV 500 was exhilarating. Watching NASCAR's top drivers, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr come from the back multiple times to finish in the top 5 proves that there is action to be seen at Martinsville.Next week's Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway will be anything but slow! Just ask Bill Elliot who holds the fastest qualifying time at Texas with a speed of 194.
2236 mph. Of the current Nextel Cup drivers, Jimmie Johnson has held the key to Texas. In 5 starts, Johnson has 5 top 10's with an average finish of 6th.However, Johnson will have his work cut out for him next week.
There are a number of drivers, both the young and the seasoned, who have had success at Texas.Other drivers to note:.Jamie McMurray
Casey Mears.All of the above drivers average a top 10 finish.
Next Week's Schedule:
(all times CST).Nextel Cup
4/07/06 - 12:05pm Samsung/RadioShack 500 Practice
4/07/06 - 3:40pm Samsung/RadioShack 500 Qualifying
4/08/06 - 12:05pm Happy Hour Practice
4/09/06 - 1:00pm Samsung/RadioShack 500.Busch Series
4/06/06 - 1:00pm O'Reilly 300 Practice
4/06/06 - 6:05pm O'Reilly 300 Qualifying
4/08/06 - 2:00pm O'Reilly 300.Craftsman Truck Series
Off till April 29th when they head to Gateway International Raceway.Who's Hot?
With disappointing finishes last week from their top drivers, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, the Hendrick Motorsports organization redeemed itself in an action packed DirecTV at Martinsville Speedway.Three Hendrick drivers finished in the top 5 (Jeff Gordon-2nd, Jimmie Johnson-3rd, and Kyle Busch-5th).
Jeff Gordon has the most eventful day where he came from dead last after he cut a tire on lap 89 to challenge Tony Stewart for the win.Leaving Martinsville, the Hendrick drivers rank as follows in the race for the Nextel Cup Championship:.Jimmie Johnson-1st
Brian Vickers-15th.Who's Not?
Martinsville is no friend of Jack Roush. The only driver in the Roush stable who has had any measure of success at Martinsville is Mark Martin.
In 40 starts, Mark has only 2 wins with an average finish of 13th.Yesterday, in the DirecTV 500, Mark met his average with a 13th place finish. The only driver to finish in the top 10 was Jamie McMurray (9th) who currently sits in 17th place in the Nextel Cup Points standings. The remaining Roush drivers finished as follows:.Kenseth - 24th
Biffle - 31st
Edwards - 16th.Kenseth was poised to take an 8th place finish, but that opportunity was dashed when he lost his brakes with 8 laps to go.
However, Roush fans do not be dismayed. The Roush Racing organization has committed themselves to the most popular type of track on the Nextel Cup circuit, the 1 1/2 mile to 2-mile tracks.Fast forwarding to next week, NASCAR heads to Texas Motor Speedway (1 1/2 mile track). Of the current drivers, the Roush drivers rank as follows:.Jamie McMurray - 3rd
Carl Edwards - 5th
Matt Kenseth - 10th
Mark Martin - 11th
Greg Biffle - 22nd.
Last Week's Headlines
Recap of the 2006 DirecTV 500 at Martinsville Speedway:.I don't like to repeat myself, but here I go. Reference the "Upcoming Events in the World of NASCAR" section above:.
"If you're looking for a fan of races at Martinsville, don't look at me. I have never felt that any track with a qualifying speed less than 100 mph should be a part of NASCAR's top circuit. However, yesterday's DirecTV 500 was exhilarating. Watching NASCAR's top drivers, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr come from the back multiple times to finish in the top 5 proves that there is action to be seen at Martinsville.".
There was almost as much paint and rubber swapping at Martinsville as last week in Bristol. Even after 500 laps of beating and banging in the Food City 500, no car finished the race looking as cool as Dale Earnhardt Jr's! Who new that losing a right front fender can actually be beneficial? It turns out the lack of sheet metal on the right front helped improve airflow over the right front brakes. With the extremely low banks at Martinsville (only 12 degrees compared to 36 degrees at Bristol), keeping the brakes cool is crucial.On a side note, I'm not sure why NASCAR believes it has to punish aggressive behavior. I'm referring to the $10,000 fine and probationary period slapped on Jeff Gordon after shoving Matt Kenseth after last week's Food City in Bristol. Avid sports fans love to know they're cheering for passionate competitors.
We all love a good fight and trash talk in football, and nothing beats a good 'ole fashioned shirt pulled over your head hockey fight. So why not show the few altercations that do occur at a NASCAR race after the race? In my opinion, NASCAR should only concern itself with policing aggressive behavior on the track. Whatever happens off the track is for the fans' enjoyment.A recap of EverythingStockCar.
com's predictions for Martinsville:.Jimmie Johnson - finished 3rd.This article is provided to you by Everything Sports, Inc. http://www.EverythingStockCar.
Mark Martin - finished 13th
Kasey Kahne - was running in 2nd at times until he blew an engine and finished 35th
Jeff Burton - was running strong until an "unfortunate" bump by Kurt Busch.
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By: Jon Vandergrift