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NASCAR Sharp Aquos 500

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by rexy2006, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2005
  2. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Hendrick heads into Chase with victory drought over

    By David Caraviello, NASCAR.COM
    September 3, 2007
    12:08 PM EDT

    FONTANA, Calif. -- As the organization that bears his name dominated the competition through the first third of the Nextel Cup season, winning 10 of the first 14 races, Rick Hendrick had one concern: Was the team peaking too soon?

    That worry seemed justified as the year wore on, and other organizations began to catch up to Hendrick Motorsports. The team went 11 races without gracing Victory Lane, a slump that ended Sunday night when Jimmie Johnson won the Sharp Aquos 500 at California Speedway. Now, with the opening of the season-ending, 10-race playoffs just two weeks away, a little bit of that Hendrick swagger is back.

    "From our standpoint, we really needed this win," Hendrick said, "because the 2 car [of Kurt Busch] and Tony [Stewart] and a lot of guys are really coming on. We had a big burst at the front, and then we kind of hit some seconds and the races weren't that good for us. It's probably going to be one of the toughest Chases, with a lot of good cars. It's going to be dogfight with all 12 of them."

    Prior to Sunday, Hendrick's last Nextel Cup victory was Jeff Gordon's win in the June event at Pocono. Since then, Joe Gibbs Racing -- plagued with bad luck during Hendrick's season-opening run -- has won four races, resurgent Roush Fenway Racing has won three, and Busch has vaulted his Penske Racing squad from 17th in points to the brink of the Chase with two wins in three weeks. Hendrick, meanwhile, has been good -- but not good enough.

    Johnson suffered through his typical summertime swoon, falling to a perilous ninth in points after a crash and a 39th-place finish at Indianapolis. That followed an accident-spawned 37th-place result at Chicago the previous week, and caused the reigning series champion to worry about even making the Chase.
    "I certainly was concerned," said Johnson, who officially clinched a Chase berth Sunday. "We had great racecars and had bad luck and lost a lot of ground. It's easy to have a bad racecar and just not run well. If you get four or five bad races in a row, you can lose a lot of ground. That's where I was nervous. But we really haven't had a bad car."

    Then there's Gordon, the points leader, who's doing his best to get all his misfortune out of the way before the playoffs begin. After finishing in the top 10 in an astonishing 20 of his first 22 races, the four-time champion has hit a slump very much of his own making: 27th at Michigan after sliding up into Matt Kenseth, 19th at Bristol and 22nd Sunday after bumping with Jeremy Mayfield. Even his most recent top-10 finish, a ninth at Watkins Glen, could have been better -- he overshot a turn while leading with two laps to go.

    Gordon may have been at the top of the points all season, but if the Chase started right now, he wouldn't be in the lead -- Johnson has the advantage in race wins, five to four, and the Chase drivers will be seeded by victories. But asked Sunday night if he was still the man to beat for the title, Gordon offered a convincing answer: "Yes," he said.

    "It's like this: None of these races really mean a whole lot," he added. "And so while we'd like to be running better and be out there getting bonus points, this team is going to come with a whole different focus and attitude when we get to [the first Chase race at] New Hampshire. I'll be honest, it's kind of hard to be in this position, because you're in a position where it really doesn't matter, and yet you're a competitor, and you go out there and run hard and try to lead laps and win races. But you know in the back of your mind that it doesn't really mean anything."

    Perhaps the most consistent Hendrick driver of late has been the one who's leaving after this season. Kyle Busch's third-place finish at Fontana marked the 12th consecutive event in which he's finished 13th or better. "Our year is not done," he said. "We've still got this year to battle for a championship, and we're locked into the Chase."

    So are Johnson and Gordon, and now their team has a momentum-building victory to take into the postseason.
    "You remember, I told you guys when we were winning like eight or nine in a row, it won't be long until you'll ask me what's wrong," Hendrick said with a wry smile. "I was waiting for that. Because we won some races we shouldn't have won, and then we lost some races we could have won. The competition is just really, really tight out there. I knew it was going to come. I was concerned that we had peaked too quick, and than we wouldn't be good in the Chase. But the guys are running well."
  3. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

    Aug 2, 2006
    Thank you Rexy my Nascar buddy. :icon_mrgreen: :icon_toast: :flag: :icon_banana: :five: :clap: :bow:

    Rexy got be back to my Yee Haw Mood.

    Rexy you had perfect seats to see the race as well.

    Rexy is one very lucky Nascar fan. :thumbup:

    Great pics. :tup: you definitely know how to capture the action. :tup:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006




    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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