By The Numbers1The margin by which Matt Kenseth leads Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points race through 11 contests thus far.
2Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s second victory (at Richmond) in 16 career starts ties him with the late Davey Allison as the quickest two-race rookie winner in Winston Cup history.
16The number of cars involved in the annual "huge crash at Talladega."
50Jeff Gordon reached a milestone at Talladega, winning his 50th career Winston Cup series race.
151The number of driver points taken from Mobil 1 Ford Taurus driver Jeremy Mayfield after NASCAR officials found his car to be in violation of a height-requirement rule following the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway.
1975The winning pole speed at Talladega in April (186.969 mph) was the first to drop below 190 mph at Talladega since 1975.
Potent Quotable"Very, very upset and that's understandable, too. I mean, who likes that? I've been in racing 40 years and I've never, ever been involved in a thing like this, and one day maybe we can talk about what really happened, and you guys will hopefully understand a little better. It's a bad thing."-Roger Kranefuss on Roger Penske's reaction to the illegal fuel additive found in Jeremy Mayfield's vehicle after the Talladega race.
... And Then, One Week Later ...
"Evidently, we had a problem in the oil line. I gotta thank Mobil 1, man. This thing got up to 340 degrees all day long in the oil. It hung in there, man. That won the race right there. There ain't another motor oil out there."-Jeremy Mayfield, following his victory at California Speedway.
In The SpotlightThe Ice Man's Just Warming UpShowing signs of life, '96 Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte registered his best finish so far this year (second) in the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond. Last year, Labonte had his worst season since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1994, when he notched only one top-five showing and finished 12th in points. He has two top fives so far and is currently running 10th in the points race.
A Peaking WardWard Burton has an average finish of eighth through 11 contests so far in 2000-including one win and two thirds-which is good enough to place him second in the Winston Cup point standings, just three ticks behind series leader Bobby Labonte. In six full seasons prior to this year, Burton's best finish in the final standings was ninth. And that was last year. It looks like the older Burton brother may be peaking in 2000.
Rookie RatingsRaybestos Rookie of the Year Points following Race No. 11
|Matt Kenseth ||133 |
|Dale Earnhardt Jr. ||132 |
|Stacy Compton ||98 |
|Dave Blaney ||90 |
|Scott Pruett ||74 |
News MakersPenalty PhaseThe crew chief for the #12 Mobil 1 Ford Taurus, Peter Sospenzo, was already under suspension from NASCAR competition when he was hit with an additional $25,000 fine last May by NASCAR officials for rules violations found in postrace inspection following the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway .
Sospenzo was penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "... any car found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials or the race ..."
After Mobil 1 Ford Taurus driver Jeremy Mayfield won the NAPA Auto Parts 500, the roof height of his car was discovered to be under the 51-inch minimum in the postrace inspection. The car was impounded and returned to North Carolina for further inspection.
The sanction was the second delivered to the team for a violation in two races.
During the postrace inspection following the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway the previous week, a fuel sample taken from Mayfield's car was found to contain an additive. After a thorough investigation, NASCAR announced its penalties.
Team owner Michael Kranefuss was fined $50,000 and 151 NASCAR Winston Cup car owner points, Sospenzo was suspended from NASCAR competition through June 6, and Mayfield was fined 151 NASCAR Winston Cup driver points.
The sanctions dropped Mayfield from seventh to 14th in driver points and Kranefuss from seventh to 14th in the owner standings. Ouch.
Point StandingsFollowing Richmond, Race No. 11
|1. Bobby Labonte ||1601 |
|2. Ward Burton ||1598 |
|3. Mark Martin ||1568 |
|4. Jeff Burton ||1542 |
|5. Dale Earnhardt ||1523 |
|6. Dale Jarrett ||1470 |
|7. Rusty Wallace ||1436 |
|8. Ricky Rudd ||1411 |
|9. Jeff Gordon ||1400 |
|10. Terry Labonte ||1357 |
Here's a stat for you: four hours, 42 minutes, and 20 seconds Michael Waltrip's finishing time in the Boston Marathon held this past April. That's a 26-mile, 385-yard foot race, folks.