2002 EA Sports 500 @ Talladega

2002 EA Sports 500 @ Talladega


ER POINTS AND OTHER PROVISIONS.■ JIMMIEOHNSON, CURRENT LEADER, IS ON THE POLE.>>ON THE OTHER SIDE, TONY ST,VE■■■DON ONHE OSI.>>JIE McMURRAY,IS NR WINSTON CUP BAY BEAU IN STERLING’S CAR, STARTS IN ROW THREE WITH RUSTY WALLACE.■>>THERE’S RYAN NEWMAN, MATT KENSETH ON THE OUTSIDE. FOUR VICTORIES THIS YEAR.>>COUPLE OF DRIVERS EACH MAKING THEIR 52nd START IN TALLEDEGA. BILL ELLIOTT AND RICKY RUDD.>>INSIDE ROW SIX, KURT BUSCH ON THE OUTSIDE OF IT. LAST NIGHT, TALKED TO DALE JARRETT — YOU GOT ME?>>I GOT YOU B.P.>>FIRST, HOW’S THE CAR?>>I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE PRETTY GOOD. SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO DRAFT UP AND HANG ON. HAVEN’T HAD IT OUT FRONT THAT MUCH IN THE DRAFT BUT I THINK WE’LL BE OKAY.>>DO YOU HAVE YOUR STRATEGY ALL LINED UP WITH THE SMALL GAS TANK?>>WE’VE TALKED ABOUT A LOT OF DIFFERENT SCENARIOS FOR SURE. AND WE’VE GOT SOME ACTION GOING ON BEFORE WE EVEN GET START HERE. BUT IT’S GOING TO BE INTERESTING SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT. WE THINK WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT TO DO IF WE CAN MAKE ALL OF THAT HAPPEN.>>WE HAD A COUPLE GUYS GET TOGETHER IN THE SINGLE LINE, ONE LAP TO GO D.J.>>MAYBE GOT A LITTLE LOOSE, CAME OVER INTO THE 48. I DON’T KNOW IF THE’S ANY DAMAGE. WE’LL HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.>>OH, MAN, IT’S STARTING EARLY, D.J. GOOD LUCK.>>IT’S STARTING EARLY. HOPEFULLY THAT WILL BE AS MUCH ACTION AS WE HAVE TODAY, OTHER THAN JUST A LOT OF PASSING.>>ALL RIGHT, MAN, THANKS.■ AND THE REST OF THE STARTING FIELD FOR TODAY’S EA SPORTS 500. WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?>>THE 48 RIGHT FRONT FENDER, WHEN I LOOKED UP, WAS PRETTY WELL DAMAGED.>>WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT THAT?>>I’M MONITORING NASCAR’S RADIO. I BELIEVE THE 6 TEAM IS ASKING PERMISSION TO PASS THE PACE CAR TO TRY TO COME TO PIT ROAD AND CHECK THEIR CAR. PERMISSION BEING DENIED, OF COURSE, YOU’RE NEVER ALLOWED TO PASS THE PACE CAR. WOW, THAT’S WEIRD.>>IT IS WEIRD.>>THE TOP TWO GUYS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE WE EVEN GET STARTED.>>THERE IS DAMAGE — I SAW DAMAGE TO THE RIGHT, FRONT TIRE, RIGHT, FRONT FENDER. LET’S SEE — TELL WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED.>>YOU SEE MARK ON THE OUTSIDE, FRONT ROW.>>THE TIRE HIT THE FENDER THERE MARK.>>IT WAS MECHANICALLY — IT WASN’T THE FENDER –>>WHAT IN THE WORLD –>>I HAVE NO IDEA.>>THE WAY HE’S TALKING TO BEN LESLIE, ALL OF A SUDDEN HE JUST LOCK UPPED. HE JUST LOCKED UP. AND BEN IS TALKING ABOUT THE AIR PRESSURE BEING SO LOW — MATT, WHAT THEY SAYING DOWN THERE?>>BENNY, CHAD WAS LOBBYING NASCAR TO HOLD OFF THROWING THE GREEN. THE WAY IT SOUNDS NOW, THEY’RE NOT GOING TO DO IT. CHAD STILL LOBBYING. HE SAYS HIS SPOTTER TOLD HIM THERE IS DAMAGE TO THE RIGHT, FRONT FENDER. CHAD IS STILL LOBBYING. RICK HENDRICK IS NOW COMING INTO THE MIX, HELPING TO LOBBY ON THE 48 TEAM’S PART.>>MATT, WHILE THAT THAT IS GOING ON, THEY’RE PUTTING MARTIN’S NUMBER UP ON THE BOARD. HE’S BEING BLACK FLAGGED.>>DAVE, WHAT’S UP THERE?>>IT’S OKAY, IT’S PERFECT.>>WE GOT TO RACE AFTER THIS.>>HAVING SOME TROUBLES WITH DAVE’S MICROPHONE. WE’LL GET HIM FIXED IN A MOMENT. FOLLOWING THE PACE CAR DOWN PIT ROAD AS THE FIELD COMES TO THE GREEN FLAG. ONE CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER IN TROUBLE BEFORE WE EVEN START.>>WE HEARD BEN LESLIE SAY WE’VE GOT TO COME DOWN AND RACE THE HOOD. THEY DO THAT –>>THEY DO THAT AS THE FIELD GOES GREEN. 188 LAPS TO MAKE UP THE DISTANCE IN TALLEDEGA TODAY. JIMMIE JOHNSON, NOW JEFF GORDON LEAD THE FIELD IN TURN ONE.>>OBVIOUSLY, JEFF LOOK AT THAT FENDER, DIDN’T THINK IT WAS BAD ENOUGH FOR JOHNSON TO COME DOWN PIT LANE.>>MARTIN IS ROLLING, BUT COMPLETELY OUT OF THE DRAFT. THAT MEANS HE’LL BE ABOUT THREE SECONDS A LAP SLOWER THAN THESE CARS.>>HE NEED A CAUTION FAST.>>HERE’S KURT –>>PIT THIS TIME, PIT THIS TIME. I WANT TO CHANGE THE RIGHT SIDE TIRE, GET THAT FENDER OUT.>>THE 48 CAR — CHAD KNAUS IS TALKING ABOUT PITHIS TIME. IT MUST BE RUBBING OR SOMETHING –>>PIT THIS TIME, PIT THIS TIME –>>UNBELIEVABLE.>>THAT IS.>>UNBELIEVABLE.>>SO THE TOP TWO IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, IN TROUBLE ALREADY.>>IT IS PRETTY BAD THEN.>>YES, IT IS. WE SAW THE DAMAGE TO THE FENDER.>>JEFF GORDON LEADS LAP ONE, RUSTY WALLACE TO HIS OUTSIDE. THEY’RE THREE DEEP RIGHT BEHIND HIM.>>WHAT WILL SEEM LIKE AN ETERNITY, JOHNSON FINALLY COMES TO THE STOP. YOU CAN SEE THE RIGHT FRONT COSMETIC DAMAGE. GOING TO WORK, TRYING TO PULL OUT THAT FRONT FENDER, BEATING IT WITH A HAMMER AS THEY LOSE MORE AND MORE TIME. KNAUS, THE CREW CHIEF, TRYING TO BEAT OUT THE FRONT VALANCE, CHANGING RIGHT-SIDE TIRES — JIMMIE NOW FINALLY DOWN AND AWAY. A TOUGH BREAK FOR TODAY’S POINT LEADER.>>HE’S GOING TO LOSE A LAP.>>HE’LL GO A■■ LAP DOWN REAL QUICK HERE.>>THESE ENGINE, THE RESTRICTED ENGINES TAKE A LONG TIME TO GET UP TO SPEED AND THE PACK IS COMING AT HIM FULL SPEED.>>WHY WOULDN’T YOU COME IN ON THE PACE LAP?>>BECAUSE MARTIN WAS BLACK FLAGGED, HAD TO COME IN, AND HE’S ABOUT A HALF LAP BEHIND WHERE JIMMIE JOHNSON IS GOING TO GET PASSED IN PROBABLY FIVE OR SIX LAPS.>>YES, NOT EVEN THAT LONG. MEAN, HE’S COMING OFF TURN TWO.>>YOU’RE RIGHT.>>HE’S GOING TO GET OVERTAKEN THIS LAP.>>THEY WERE JUST COMING UP TO SPEED WHEN MARK CAME IN. WHAT DO YOU SAY, MATT?>>WALLY, ONE THING, WHILE UNDER THE PACE LAP, KNAUS RADIOED JOHNSON, SAID, IS IT SMOKING? WHEN THEY TOOK THE GREEN OUT OF TWO, HE SAID, IS IT SMOKING? CHAD COULD NOT TAKE A CHANCE THAT POSSIBLY IT WAS SMOKING BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT DISTANCE FROM THE FRONT STRETCH TO THE BACK STRETCH. DAVE?>>MARK MARTIN RADIOED IN BEFORE THE PROBLEM OCCURRED THAT HE HAD A STEERING SITUATION. NASCAR REQUIRED THEM TO PIT BECAUSE THEY WANTED THEM TO CHECK THE STEERING PROBLEM. APPARENTLY, THAT WAS OKAY AND WHEN THEY ALSO CHECKED FOR ANY DAMAGE ON THE 6 CAR, THAT, TOO IS OKAY.>>SO, MARK MARTIN IS RUNNING 42nd ON THE BACK STRETCH. THE FIELD’S INTO TURN ONE COME UP ON 43rd PLACE, JIMMIE JOHNSON.>>AND THIS RACE HAS GOTTEN BIZARRE RIGHT FROM THE GET-GO.>>IT HAD TO BE SOME KIND OF RAO COMMUNICATION PROBLEM. JEFF GORDON OBVIOUSLY SAW THAT FENDER ON TEAM — I MEAN, THE CAR HE PART OWNS AND KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE A PROBLEM. MAYBE JIMMIE DID NOT GET THE MESSAGE.>>BEST THING JIMMIE CAN DO IS TRY TO TAG ON TO JEFF GORDON, RIGHT? STAY UP THERE, HOPE SOMEBODY GIVES HIM A LAP BACK IN A CAUTION.>>TOO LATE BECAUSE NOW HE’S BACK IN TENTHTH SPOT.>>AT THIS POINT NOW, I WOULD GET OUT OF THE DRAFT COMPLETELY AND JUST RIDE IN THE BACK IN CASE SOMETHING DOES HAPPEN, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE IN IT.>>TRY TO DODGE THE WRECK.>>WHILE WE’VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO — WHAT’ BEEN GOING ON WITH THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER, THE RACE LEAD HAS CHANGED HANDS. GORDON HAS SHUFFLED BACK AND KENSETH GOES TO THE POINT. MATT, ONE OF THE FIVE DRIVERS WHO COULD WIN THE BILLION BONUS FROM WINSTON TODAY. IF ONE OF THEM CAN WIN THE RACE TODAY, THEY GET A MILLION DOLLAR BONUS AND’ FAN GETS A MILLION DOLLARS AS WELL.>>SURE DIDN’T TAKE YOU’REON AND WALTRIP LONG TO GET TO THE FRONT. AS RUDD GOES TO THE OUTSIDE IN THAT 28 CAR.>>MICHAEL STARTED 15th, THEY WERE NOSE TO TAIL WHEN THE GREEN FLAG DROPPED.>>THAT’S WHAT THE COMPETITORS HAVE TO AVOID. THEY NEED TO GET IN BETWEEN THAT 8 AND 15 BECAUSE EVERYBODY KNOWS HOW STRONG THEY’VE BEEN ON THE RESTRICTOR PLATE RACES.>>THE YELLOW LINE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TRACK IS THE OUT OF BOUNDS LINE. YOU SAW GORDON FLIRTING WITH IT.>>SAW JEFF RUNNING DOWN TO THAT AND GORDON HAD NO CHOICE BACK BACK OFF THE THROTTLE.>>NASCAR TOLD THE DRIVERS IN THEIR PRERACE MEETING ABOUT TWO HOURS BEFORE GREEN FLAG, RACE ABOVE THE YELLOW LINE ON THE TRACK. THE QUOTE FROM RACE DIRECTORS WERE, IF IN NASCAR’S JUDGMENT YOU GO BELOW THE YELLOW LINE TO IMPROVE YOUR POSITION, YOU WILL BE BLACK FLAGGED AND PENALIZED.>>LOOKED LIKE OUR CAMERA HAD A ROCK IN THE LENS, DIDN’T IT?>>SURE DID. TOP FIVE HAVE LINED UP SINGLE FILE. AND THE REASON A GUY WILL GO DOWN LIKE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO BE PUT IN THE POSITION TO BE IN THE CENTER. IF A GUY COMES UNDERNEATH YOU AND MAKES THAT MOVE, ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE, AND YOU’LL LOSE A LOT OF POSITIONS.>>ON BOARD RYAN NEWMAN.>>HE HAD TO BACK OUT THE THROTTLE. HE SQUEEZE OUT AS HE RAN UP THE BACK OF TONY STEWART’S CAR.>>I THINK CHAOS IS THE BEST WAY I CAN THINK OF THIS.>>CHECK IT OUT, FIRST OF 43, 3.3 SECONDS. ON A TRACK IT TAKES 50-SOME SECONDS TO GET AROUND. LET’S SAY CHARLOTTE NEXT WEEK, HOW FAR WOULD IT BE? 1518 SECONDS?>>THIS MANY LAPS, PROBABLY WOULD BE — YEAH, AT LEAST HALF OF — ABOUT 15 SECONDS. HALF A LAP.>>MATT KENSETH LEADS, DALE EARNHARDT JR. IS SECOND, WALTRIP THIRD, JEFF GREEN FOURTH■, RUSTY WALLACE FIFTH. BIZARRE MOMENTS AT THE OPENING HERE. BUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER JOHNSON AND MART MARTIN ALREADYC TONY HAS AOOD DRAFTINPARTNER RIGHT THERE.>>THE START O THI RACE ALREADY BIZARRE. THE FIELD LINEUP ACCORDING TO OWNER POINTS. JIMMIE JOHNSON AND MARK MARTIN ARE ON THE FRONT ROW.>>WATCH MARTIN AS HE’S WEAVING BACK AND FOURTH TO CLEAN TIRE, THE STEERING LOCKS UP AND HE DRIVES INTO THE FENDER OF JIMMIE JOHNSON’S CAR.>>I THINK HE PROBABLY FELT SOMETHING WAS WRONG, THAT’S WHY HE WAS SWERVING LIKE THAT. I THINK HE PROBABLY FELT SOMETHING BACK EARLIER AND STARTED SWINGING IT AROUND.>>HERE’S WHAT THEY SAID ON THE RADIO –>>I GUESS IT HAPPENED WHEN I TRIED TO WARM THE TIRES UP AND THE STEERING LOCKED UP.>>IT MIGHT HAVE SHOVED THE LEFT FRONT DOWN SO FAR THAT THE TIRE HIT THE FEND THERE ARE, MARK.>>YOU SEE MARK ABOUT TO BE SWALLOWED UP BY THE PACK AS THEY’RE COME UP TO PUT HIM A LAP DOWN. HE’S IN 42nd PLACE. JIMMIE JOHNSON IS ONE LAP DOWN IN 34rd. DAVE?>>JACK, YOU HEARD MARK SAYING HE MIGHT HAVE GOT THE LEFT FRONT CAUGHT UP UNDERNEATH HIM.>>IT SEEMED LIKE A MECHANICAL PROBLEM, BASED ON LOOKING AT THE TV, THE MONITOR THERE THE WAY HE WENT ACROSS THE RACETRACK. I THINK THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A ROCK THAT GOT UP IN THERE AND LOCKED UP THE STEERING AS HE TRIED TO TURN IT OR THERE WAS A WRENCH OR A FASTER OR SOME KIND THAT WENT INTO THE WAY. WHATEVER IT WAS, HE DOESN’T HAVE A PROBLEM NOW. BUT CERTAINLY A PROBLEM IN THE BEGINNING.>>RIGHT NOW, MARK HAS BEEN SEEING DEBRIS ON THE RACETRACK, TRYING TO CALL IT IN BUT NOT ANYTHING NASCAR WILL THROW THE CAUTION IN FOR. MATT?>>CHAD KNAUS SHAKING HIS HEAD IN DISBELIEF. HOW BAD IS IT? IT’S PRETTY SUBSTANTIAL. ANYTIME YOU GET ANY TYPE OF DAMAGE TO A SUPERSPEEDWAY, IT KILLS THE DRAG ON THE CAR. SO THE CAR’S RUNNING WELL RIGHT NOW IN THE DRAFT. WILL IT BE FAST ENOUGH TO EVER LEAD AGAIN? I DON’T KNOW, I PROBABLY DOUBT IT. SOMETHING APPARENTLY HAPPENED TO THE 6 CAR. RIGHT NOW, THEY GOT THEM LISTED THE SAME LAP AS US. HE PIT BEFORE THEY TOOK THE GREEN AND THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A ONE LAP PENALTY AND HE’S STILL ON THE SAME LAP AS US. IT’S EARLY ON IN THE RACE, WE’LL TRY TO GET OUR LAP BACK AND GET A GOOD, SOLID TOP TEN.>>IS THAT WHY YOU DIDN’T COME AS WELL, BECAUSE OF THE ONE LAP PENALTY?>>THEY TOLD ME I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN A ONE LAP PENALTY.>>TALLEDEGA. IT’S THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE OF WINSTON CUP STOCK CAR RACING. THEY’VE DONE IT AGAIN HERE TODAY.>>MY UNDERSTANDING — WE WANT TO CHECK WITH NASCAR AND CONFIRM –>>MY UNDERSTANDING IS — I THINK MOST EVERYBODY — IF YOU STOP ON THE PACE LAP AND FUEL THE CAR, THEN IT’S A LAP PENALTY. DIDN’T REALIZE YOU COULDN’T STOP.>>ESPECIALLY IF IT BECOMES AN ISSUE WHERE YOU’VE GOT DAMAGE TO THE CAR. DON’T THINK THEY WANT A CAR OUT THERE THAT’S GOT DAMAGE, LEADING E PACK TO THE GREEN. YEAH, BENNY, WE’RE THINKING THE SAME THING, AND OBVIOUSLY THERE’S SOME CONFUSION THERE SOMEWHERE. IF YOU TAKE FUEL BEFORE THE START, THAT’S A NO-NO.>>YES.>>I’VE NEVER HEARD IT SAID YOU CAN’T PIT BEFORE THE START OF THE RACE.>>BECAUSE IF YOU COULD FUEL, THEN ALL THE CARS BACK FROM 35th ON BACK WOULD STOP EVERY TIME ON THE ONE TO GO AND PUT SOME FUEL IN THE CAR JUST SO THEY COULD HAVE THAT EXTRA GASOLINE. IT WOULD BE AN ADVANTAGE FOR THEM.>>ESPECIALLY TODAY.>>YEAH, BECAUSE IT’S GOING TO BE — I THINKUEL’S GOING TO BE A BIG ISSUE TODAY.>>MATT KENSETH LEADS. MARK MARTIN NOW PUT ONE LAP DOWN SEE HIM RUNNING RIGHT BEHIND HIS ROUSH TEAMMATE KENSETH. DALE EARNHARDT JR. NOW IN THAT OUTSIDE LANE –>>TRYING TO FLEX MUSCLES, TAKE THAT BUD CHEVROLET TO THE FRONT.>>YOU NOTICE, HE’S BEEN SEPARATED FROM IDENTICAL TWIN THERE THE 15 CAR.>>THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO. THOSE GUYS KNOW HOW FAST THE TWO CARS ARE WHEN THEY GET HOOK UP. THEY NEED TO GET THEM SEPARATED.>>THE CARS TO THE FRONT HERE, YOU GOT SCHRADER UP THERE, MIKE SKINNER. THOSE GUYS STARTED WAY BACK IN THE FIELD. SO THEIR CARS ARE WORKING REAL WELL RIGHT NOW IN THE DRAFT.>>BY THE WAY, JUST TO BACK UP AND PUT THE BUTTON ON THE JIMMIE JOHNSON THING, JUST CONFIRMED WITH NASCAR RACE CONTROL ARE HE COULD HAVE PITTED ON THE PACE LAP AS LONG AS HE DIDN’T TAKE POWELL AND THERE WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN A PENALTY.>>THAT MAKE SENSE. I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T WANT A CAR THAT BECOMES A SAFETY ISSUE AND THAT CAR HAD A LOT OF SAFETY DAMAGE.>>WHERE MARK MARTIN IS CONCERNED, NASCAR ASKED HIM TO PIT BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T WANT A CAR WITH THE STEERING PROBLEM.>>DALE EARNHARDT JR.’S CAR, THEY DEBATED ON CHANGING THE ENGINE IN THE CAR THIS MORNING. YESTERDAY IN HAPPY HOUR, DALE EARNHARDT JR. SAID HE FELT LIKE THE ENGINE WAS STARTING TO LAY DOWN. THE ENGINE THAT WON THE LAST TWO RACES HERE IS THE BACKUP ENGINE. IT’S ON THE TRUCK. THEY DEBATED ABOUT WHETHER TO PUT IT IN OR NOT. THEY FELT LIKE THIS WAS THEIR BEST POWER PLANT AS HE CONTINUES TO TRY TO GET TO THE FRONT. HE’S DOING IT WITH TONY STEWART PUSHING HIM.>>SOMETIMES B.P. ON THE RACETRACK IS A DIFFERENT THING.>>LOOK LIKE IT’S PICKING UP PRETTY GOOD RIGHT NOW. TALKING ABOUT THE ENGINE IN THE 8 CAR. HE LED THE LAST LAP. IS THAT THE FIRST TIME HE LEFT TODAY?>>FIRST LAP JUNIOR LED TODAY. KENSETH LED 14. AND NOW JUNIOR FOR ONE. ONLY 2 EVER PICKED UP A SECOND CAREER WIN. MAYBE ALLISON KEN SCHRADER. ONE OF THE GUYS THAT GOT FIRST WINSTON CUP HERE. MATT KENSETH, DALE EARNHARDT JR. RACING FOR THE LEAD.>>WIT LOVEA SPTS 500 FOR THE NASCAR WINSTO CUP SERIES. OUR LITTLE DEBBY TRIVIA QUESTION — SURVEY SAYS — I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THIS ONE.>>JEFF GORDON IN JULY 1996. YES, THIS RACE USED TO BE RUN THE LAST WEEKEND IN JULY. WE’LL BE TALKING ABOUT IT BEING HOT TODAY. IT WAS HOT THEN. JEREMY MAYFIELD IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT, THE 19 CAR. WALLY, I CAN’T BELIEVE THE LINE. OUR NBCSPORTS.COM POLL — THIS IS A BENNY AND WALLY SPECIAL. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE A RED FLAG RULE USED AT TALLEDEGA AND DAYTONA THAT COULD SET UP A POTENTIAL ONE-LAP SPRINT FOR WIN? BACK GROUND, SOME OF THE OTHER TRACKS, THEY DID NOT RED FLAG DAYTONA, THE DRIVERS VERY MUCH AGAINST THAT ON THESE RESTRICTED TRACKS, AND WE HAD SOME ON-AIR DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER THE FANS WOULD BE IN FAVOR OF IT OR NOT SO –>>THAT’S TRUE –>>TELL US.>>LET THE FANS — JUST TELL US WHAT YOU THINK.>>TALKING ABOUT THE PIT ROAD, WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TODAY. IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AT A PIT MAP FOR TODAY’S RACING, WE’VE GOT THAT UP AT NBCSPORTS.COM, TOO.>>I CAN’T BELIEVE THE LINE THAT JUNIOR — HE TOOK THE LEAD ON THE OUTSIDE. WHEN HE GOT IN FRONT, I THOUGHT HE WOULD DRIVE BACK DOWN TO THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE RACETRACK. I’VE NEVER SEEN HIM RUN AROUND THIS RACETRACK ON THAT HIGH LINE.>>OBVIOUSLY, HE’S GOT THE CAR HANDLING WELL BECAUSE YOU COULD RUN UP THERE. HE’S GOT A LOT OF GUYS HANGING WITH HIM, TOO. YOU SEE THAT BUMP OUT OF TURN FOUR IS WHAT’S TOUGH TO RUN, THAT HIGH LINE. WHEN YOU COME OUT OF FOUR, THERE’S A PRETTY GOOD BUMP.>>MONITORING ON DALE JR.’S RADIO WHEN HE TOOK THE LEAD A COUPLE WEEKS AGO.>>MAN, THE TOP, BABY! LOOK OUT!>>THE TOP IS WHERE IT’S AT.>>SNYDER!>>B.P., LET ME EXPLAIN. ABOUT TWO MONTHS AGO, DALE EARNHARDT JR. HAD A FRIEND, GAVE HIM ABOUT 200 BETA TAPES OF OLD RACES. HE BOUGHT A BETA MACHINE, PUT IT IN HIS HOUSE, BEEN WATCHING THESE OLD RACES. HE SAYS LIKE B.P. USED TO DO. I LIKE IT UP HERE.>>I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT, MAN, OH, MAN, I’VE NEVER SEEN HIM THAT HIGH ON THIS RACETRACK.>>DIFFERENCE WAS, WHEN YOU DID IT, YOU DIDN’T HAVE A RESTRICTOR PLATE.>>YEAH ARE I WAS CHASING THAT BACK END UP THERE.>>YOU KNOW, JR. HAD A PRETTY GOOD TEACHER FOR THIS RACETRACK, TOO, NOT JUST THE OLD VIDEO GAMES, BUT HIS DAD, WHO RUN HERE TEN TIMES.>>I HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY EVERYBODY ELSE AS FAR AS LEARNING FROM HIM. A LOT OF THESE GUYS RACED AGAINST HIM FOR A LONG TIME, KNOW QUITE A BIT ABOUT STYLE, PICKED UP ON A LOT OF THINGS HE DID. I TAKE IN A LOT OF CONFIDENCE, I GUESS, OF BEING KIN TO HIM, BUT I HAVE THE ABILITY■ TO CARRY THT OUT ON THE RACETRACK. AND IT JUST SEEMS TO HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE REST OF THE FIELD. I DON’T KNOW, THERE’S A LOT OF GUYS THAT SEEM TO WANT TO WORK WITH ME. AND WHEN YOU GET A LOT OF HELP OUT THERE, IT REALLY MAKES YOU LOOK GOOD.>>HE’S GETTING A LOT OF HELP OUT THERE FROM TONY STEWART. JEREMY MAYFIELD’S TAKING THAT DODGE UP TO THE MIDDLE AND JUST MIGHT TAKE THE LEAD.>>SURE LOOKS LIKE IT.>>EVERYBODY’S GOT AOT OF HELP. THREE WIDE AND — I DON’T KNOW HOW DEEP THEY ARE. WE’VE GOT SOME GUYS IN THERE THAT HAVE COME FROM THE BACK OF THE PACK. THE GOLD CAR ON THE INSIDE, SKINNER IN THE 4, HE STARTED 37th. THE M&M’S MACHINE ON THE LEFT, KEN SCHRADER, 36, HE STARTED BACK IN 31st PLACE. THAT ROOKIE, JAMIE McMURRAY, GOT SHUFFLED BACK FOR A LITTLE BIT, NOW MOVING BACK TOWARDS THE FRONT.>>RUNNING INSIDE THE TOP TEN FOR THE LAST FEW LAPS HERE. NOT SAYING MUCH ON THE RADIO, BUT GETTING FANTASTIC HELP FROM TWO SPOTTERS. ONE IS ON THE BACK STRETCH, LAUREN IS ON THE FRONT STRETCH. HE’S THE NUMBER ONE SPOTTER, SPOTS FOR STARLEN MARLIN AS WELL. NOT ONLY IS HE LEARNING THE CREW AND THE OTHER DRIVES, HE’S ALSO LEARNING TWO NEW SPOTTERS TODAY AT TALLEDEGA.>>YOU CAN SEE JUST HOW IMPORTANT SPOTTERS WOULD BE TO TELL YOU, TO WARN YOU A CAR IS TRYING TO PASS YOU ON THE INSIDE A CAR IS TRYING TO PASS YOU ON THE OUTSIDE. LOOK AT BRETT BODINE. THAT HOOTER’S CAR, RIGHT BEHIND JEFF BURTON’S CAR.>>31st.>>LAST TIME AROUND HE WAS 12th, MIGHT BE FURTHER UP THIS TIME.>>BY THE WAY, WATCHING THAT 40 CAR ON PIT ROAD, STERLING MARLIN WAS PART OF THE “DISCOVER CARD COUNTDOWN TO GREEN” SAID IT’S TOUGH TO STAND HERE AND WATCH. DIFFICULT TO RACE THESE EVENTS. IF YOU’RE A WINSTON CUP DRIVER, THE LAST PLACE YOU WANT TO BE IS ON THE SIDELINES. THAT’S WHERE MARTIN IS TODAY, OUT WITH A FRACTURED VERTEBRA IN HIS NECK.>>ONE OF THE BEST GUYS IN THE DRAFT, HE’S HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS HERE. BOY. HE HAD A GOOD SHOT OF WINNING THIS RACE.>>YOU KNOWS WE SAW MARLIN STANDING IN THE SPITS WITH THE CERVICAL COLLAR ON. HE CRACKED THE CERVICAL NUMBER TWO, C-2, WHATEVER, FOLKS, THAT’S THE SAME C-2 IS THE SAME THING CREST FEAR REEVE BROKE.>>NOW, THAT I UNDERSTAND.>>AND HE CRACKED THIS ONE. SO THERE’S NO WONDER WHY HE’S STANDING THERE AND NOT BACK IN THE RACE CAR.>>MIGHT HAVE HAD A GREAT CHANCE TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR BUT IN THE END, IT’S NOT WORTH IT.>>NO, I AGREE.>>WALKING’S A LOT BETTER.>>YEAH. HEY, HOW ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON? 48 CAR HAS GOTTEN IN FRONT OF THE TRACK. CAUTION COMES OUT NOW. HE CAN STAY THERE BACK AROUND TO THE YELLOW FLAG. HE’S RIGHT BACK IN THE THICK OF THIS THING. HARDEST THING IN TALLEDEGA AND DAYTONA, THESE RESTRICTED RACES, IS GETTING A LAP BACK IF YOU GET ONE DOWN.>>ALTHOUGH TEAMMATE’S –>>YEAH, HIS TEAM OWNER SAID, HUH-UH. YOU’RE ONE OF THESE GUYS THEY GOT TO BEAT HERE.>>ALL RIGHT, WELL, THAT’S INTERESTING, ISN’T IT?>>HAVE WE TALKED ABOUT THE BIG CRASH, HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO AVOID THE BIG CRASH? IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED A RACE AT TALLEDEGA BEFORE, YOU UNDERSTAND HOW TOUGH IT WOULD BE. IF SOMETHING HAPPENS UP IN FRONT OF THESE CAR, THEY MAKE CONTACT, THEY SPART SPINNING, THESE GUYS IN THE BACK HAVE NO CHANCE.>>THE PHRASE KEEPS POPPING IN MY HEAD, WHERE DID HE COME FROM? WEREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT RICKY CRAVEN? HE JUST TOOK THE LEAD.>>32 CAR.>>ABOUT 15th OR 16th JUST A COUPLE LAPS AGO. BILL?>>AND THE TENSION AND THE PREPARATION’S BUILDING HERE ON PIT ROAD, ALLEN, ALREADY CLOSING IN ON THE FIRST SET OF STOPS. REMEMBER, THESE TEAMS ARE RUNNING A FUEL CELL TODAY THAT HOLDS ABOUT 13 GALLONS OF FUEL. IT DEPENDS WHO YOU ASK HOW MUCH FUEL THEY ACTUALLY GOT IN THERE. WHEN THEY COME IN, YOU’LL SEE ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT STRATEGIES. PROBABLY TWO TIRES. AND GET AN MUCH FUEL AS YOU CAN. A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THESE GUYS ON PIT ROAD TODAY.>>YOU’RE GOING TO SEE A LOT OF CHAOS GETTING TO PIT LANE. THESE GUYS TRYING TO GET AS MUCH ADVANTAGE AS THEY CAN TO GET TO THE START OF PIT LANE. THESE CARS DON’T STOP THAT WELL, B.P.>>3400 POUNDS AND VERY LITTLE BRAKE. NOT ENOUGH BRAKE. DAVE BURNS?>>WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT RUNNING THE HIGH LINE HERE. SEVERAL CREWS HAVE RADIOED TO THEIR DRIVERS, START WORKING YOUR WAY TO THE BOTTOM. THEY DON’T WANT TO SURPRISE EVERYBODY, CUT ACROSS TO GO TO THE PITS.>>THAT’S A BIG CONCERN IF THESE GUYS TRY TO POOCH IT THE REST OF THE WAY AND RUN OUT OF FUEL IN FRONT OF THE PACK. WHAT A MESS THAT WOULD BE.>>I THINK I WOULD WANT TO COME UP TOWARDS THE LEADER, THIS WAY YOU’VE GOT A CLEAN PIT LANE, GET IN AND OUT WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS. HOW ABOUT IT BILL, HERE HE COMES.>>THIS WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF IT. SO FAR, ONLY CRAVEN ON PIT ROAD. NOW HE’S GOT OTHER HELP, OTHER DRAFTING PARTNERS COMING IN. THEY HAVE TO PIT IN BUNCHES. FUEL ONLY FOR CRAVEN. SOME GUYS STOPPING EARLIER. ONE — SO THEY’LL GET A GOOD GAS MILEAGE MEASURE MACHINE. THE OTHER THING IS THEY DON’T WANT TO BE ON PIT ROAD WHEN IT’S REALLY CROWDED. GOT HIS FUEL. DAVE?>>MAYFIELD, AT THE FRONT OF THE PACK TODAY, CHANGES TWO RIGHT-SIDE TIRE, GETS HIS CAR FULL OF FUEL, NO ADJUSTMENTS TO THE DODGE.>>WHAT WERE CRAVEN’S GUYS YELLING ABOUT THERE?>>I DON’T KNOW.>>AND BILL ELLIOTT’S, SERVICE ALREADY COMPLETED, TIRES, FILLED IT FULL OF FUEL. THE QUESTION, 13 OR MORE? THE DODGE IS NOT GETTING THE FUEL MILEAGE THE CHEVROLETS AND FORDS ARE.>>THAT’S GOING TO BE A BIG CONCERN UNLESS THE CAUTION FLAG MIXES THINGS UP.>>GOT MORE COMING TO PIT ROAD. AS JEFF GORDON COMES BACK WITH THE LEAD.>>JEFF BURTON’S CITEGO CAR. ON PIT ROAD.>>AND THIS IS HIS FIRST PIT STOP AS A WINSTON CUP DRIVER. CHANGING RIGHT-SIDE TIRES. ONE CAN OF FUEL. ALTHOUGH SOME GUYS TO REALLY PACK IT ARE GOING TO USE THE SECOND CAN. NOT NECESSARY THIS TIME. McMURRAY PRACTICED YESTERDAY. STALLS IT. HAD TO GET PUSH OUT. FIRST MISTAKE FOR THE ROOKIE.>>ABOUT TWO OR THREE SECONDS. YOU JUST SIMPLY CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE ON PIT ROAD.>>YOU CANNOT MAKE ON THIS, BECAUSE IF IT DOES GO GREEN, THAT’S A LOT OF SPACE — IT’S GOING TO BE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE UP.>>YOU SEE TODD BODINE AND JIMMY SPENCER, HAVING JUST STOPPED. WHO COMES IN THIS TIME? WHILE WE WATCH THE PIT STOPS, THE TICKER ACROSS THE TOP OF THE SCREEN, THE NAMES YOU SEE NOW APPEARING IN YELLOW WILL BE THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE THEIR STOPS IN THE CYCLE OF GREEN. KENSETH IN.>>RIGHT SIDE TIRE, A LOAD OF FUEL. A LOT OF CONCERNS FOR SPOTTERS AND CREW CHIEFS IF THEIR DRIVERS CAN GET FROM THE OUTSIDE GROOVE ON TO PIT ROAD. KENSETH MADE IT ON HIS WAY.>>6 CAR, MARTIN, ONE LAP DOWN, FULL OF FUEL, RIGHT-SIDE TIRE, BACK OUT.>>MARTIN COMING UP ON KENSETH. THERE’S BUSCH LEAVING PIT ROAD. SCOTT WIMMER’S BEEN IN, KEVIN HARVICK. HOW ABOUT KURT BUSCH?>>TWO TIRES AND NO CHANGES FOR KURT BUSCH. HAPPY WITH THE CHASSIS, DECIDE TO MAKE NO CHASSIS CHANGES ON THE CAR. AND WE HAVE A CAR OUT OF GAS ON THE BACKSTRETCH.>>MIKE SKINNER HAS RUN OUT OF GAS. MEANTIME, MOST OF THE GUYS WHO WERE FRONT-RUNNERS ARE COMING IN. GORDON IN, WALLACE, STEWART, NEWMAN, DAVE?>>JEFF GORDON RADIOED IN, WE DON’T NEED TO CHANGE A THING, THE CAR IS GREAT. TWO FRESH RIGHT-SIDE TIRES ON THERE, PACK THE FUEL CELL FULL OF FUEL. 12.5, 13 GALLONS, MAYBE MORE. JEFF ON HIS WAY.>>THE MOST IMPORTANT GUY ON THE 20 PIT STOP IS THE GAS MAN. HE’S GOT A PACKED FUEL CELL FULL OF FUEL. STEWART, SERVICE COMPLETE.>>DID YOU HEAR JEFF GORDON REVVING THE ENGINE, ANTICIPATION OF LETTING THAT CLUTCH OUT AND LEAVING PITS?>>YOU STILL GOT TO BE CAREFUL, YOU PUT RIGHT-SIDE TIRES ON, YOU GOT COLD ONES ON THE RIGHT. WE USED TO BREAK A LOT OF AXLES IN THE BACK. BOY, THAT JUST TOOK SKINNER OUT OF THE RACE UNLESS THIS THING GETS YELLOW.>>SADLER STALLED ON PIT ROAD. HAD TO BE PUSHED PAST SEVERAL STALLS. HERE COMES JUNIOR.>>MICHAEL WALTRIP GETTING A COUPLE MORE LAPS THAN EVERYBODY ELSE. MAKE A NOTE OF THAT.>>SEE IF JUNIOR CHANGES HIS RIGHT SIDES. HE DID LOCK IT UP.>>YOU’LL SEE HIM COME BY DAVE BLANEY’S CAR.>>VERY HAPPY WITH THE CHASSIS, DALE EARNHARDT JR. THE VERY LAST STALL ON PIT ROAD. DOESN’T TAKE LONG TO GET THE FUEL IN THE 13-GALLON FUEL CELL. RIGHT-SIDE TIRES FOR JUNIOR. HE WAS A LITTLE TIGHT. THEY DECIDE TO MAKE NO CHANGES FULL OF FUEL. HE’LL BEAT HIS TEAMMATE OFF PIT ROAD.>>NOT SO FAST, THERE! MICHAEL WALTRIP BEATS JUNIOR. RICKY RUDD ALSO BY DALE EARNHARDT JR.>>NOW THEY’VE GOT TO BLEND IN THE WITH PACK THAT’S COMING UP ON THEM. THEY’RE BEHIND THE START/FINISH LINE.>>I TALKED TO THE HEAD ENGINE MAN FOR DALE ENHART INCORPORATED. HE SAID THEY’VE BEEN WORKING ON FUEL MILEAGE. THEY’VE BEEN WORKING VERY HARD TRYING TO GET MORE FUEL MILEAGE WITH THE RESTRICTOR PLATE ENGINE.>>JIMMIE JOHNSON AND GORDON JUST BLEW BY THOSE GUYS THAT JUST CAME OFF PIT ROAD.>>YEAH.>>YEAH.>>NOW, THE THEORY OF THE SMALLER FUEL CELLS AND THE REDUCED GAS TANK CAPACITY WAS TO CREATE MORE GREEN FLAG FUEL STOPS WHICH BREAKS APART THE FIELD SOME AND PERHAPS ELIMINATE THE CHANCE OF THE BIG WRECK. WHAT DO YOU THINK?>>RIGHT NOW, THE CARS ARE THINNED OUT EXACTLY THE WAY NASCAR DRAW IT ON THE DRAWING BOARD. WE HAVE SOME CARS TWO ABREAST, BUT NOT THREE OR FOUR WIDE. THINK RIGHT NOW IT’S WORKING PERFECTLY. AS I SAY, TO GO THREE WIDE IN TURN ONE.>>BUT I DON’T KNOW IF THEY’RE STRETCHED OUT ENOUGH TO STAY THAT WAY. THINK THEY’RE STILL CLOSE ENOUGH WHERE THEY MAY ACCORDION AND GET CLOSE TOGETHER AGAIN IN THAT BIG PACK.>>JUST COMPLETED THE FIRST 100 MIAMI MILES OF THE EA SPORTS 500. THE FIRST PIT STOPS HAVE BEEN CYCLED THROUGH. JEFF GORDON HAS THE RACE LEAD. MAYBE NOT FOR LONG — HERE COMES MICHAEL WALTRIP TO HIS OUTSIDE. JIMMIE JOHNSON TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO STAY UP THERE ON THE TAIL END OF THE LEAD LAP BUT COULDN’T PUT THE BLOCK ON MIKE. LET’S CHECK OUT THE COORS’ PIT SUMMARY –>>RICKY CRAVEN, OUT 17th. AND WE HEARD ALL THOSE GUYS YELLING. THEY HAD SOME KIND OF PROBLEM IN CRAVEN’S PIT THAT COST HIM 16 SPOTS.>>BUT — THE PACK IS DRAWING BACK TOGETHER AND HE’S RIGHTED IN MIDDLE OF IT. SO HE’S STILL RIGHT IN CONTENTION. DIDN’T HURT HIM NEARLY AS BAD AS IT WOULD ON ANOTHER TRACK, LET’S ALABAMA.LOTTE CNBNBNBNBCC 5NBCH, ETTY FRAHT WITH TENON RIGHOW.>>MAN IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG. AFTER THE PIT STOPS, THESE CARS WERE STRUNG OUT, SINGLE FILE, NOW WE’RE BAC JUST A FEW LAPS LATER, THAT BIG GROUP OF CARS AGAIN.>>BILL, WE TALKED ABOUT RICKY CRAVEN LOSING SPOTS ON THAT PIT STOP. WE HEARD HOLLERING WHILE YOU WERE COVERING THE STOP. WHAT’S THAT ABOUT?>>WAS TO MAKE SURE THEY GOT TAPE OFF THE FRONT OF THE GRILL. CRAVEN IN TRAFFIC WAS RUNNING A WATER TEMPERATURE OF 250. HE WENT BACK OUT OF TRAFFIC, GOT OFF THE BUMPER OF SOMEBODY TO GET SOME AIR INTO THE FRONT OF THAT CAR, GET IT DOWN TO ABOUT 230. WHEN HE PITTED, THEY WANTED TO TAKE TAPE OUT THE GRILL. THEY WERE JT SHOUTING INSTRUCTIONS TO REMIND THE CREW MAN TO GRAB THE TAPE. THEY HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO DO THAT BECAUSE THEY HAD TO GET A FULL LOAD OF 13 GALLONS OF FUEL IN THERE. THE REASON THEY LOST THOSE SPOTS IS BECAUSE BASICALLY THEY DON’T HAVE A PARTNER AND REALLY DIDN’T HAVE A PLAN FOR ANYBODY ELSE TO DRAFT ON PIT ROAD WITH.>>THAT’S RIGHT, HE DID PIT BY HIMSELF.>>SO WHEN HE’S ON THE RACETRACK — GOOD POINT, HE WAS ON THE RACETRACK WITHOUT ANY DRAFTING HELP, WHICH IS ABOUT A SECOND OR TWO.>>LET’S FOLLOW UP ON DALE EARNHARDT JR.’S PIT STOP. YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS NOT TO SLIDE THE FRONT TIRES IF YOU’RE ONLY CHANGING TWO.>>YEAH, SEE HIM LOCKING THAT RIGHT, FRONT TIRE UP IS BAD. THAT WILL PUT IT OUT OF BALANCE.>>WE WALL THIS ON JUNIOR’S RADIO WHEN HE CAME IN FOR THE STOP.>>– TIRES ON PIT ROAD.>>STAY ABOVE THE YELLOW LINE. STAY ABOVE THE YELLOW LINE.>>SURE IT’S JUST THE RIGHT FRONT, NOT THE LEFT FRONT?>>10-4, D.J., LEFT FRONT NEVER LOCKED UP, BUDDY.>>THERE YOU HAVE IT.>>OBVIOUSLY, THAT’S — IT’S HARD TO TELL SOMETIMES. YOU KNOW IT’S THE FRONT, BUT IT’S GOOD HE CAUGHT IT THAT EARLY.>>WHAT ARE THEY SAYING DOWN THERE, DAVE?>>HERE’S THE PROBLEM. THIS IS THE RIGHT FRONT TIRE OFF JOE NEMECHEK’S CAR. WHEN THEY TOOK IT OFF, AIR POURING OUT OF HERE. HE GOT THIS FLAT SPOT. THE PROBLEM IS, YOU LOCK UP BOTH FRONT TIRE. THE LEFT SIDES, WHO KNOWS WHAT THAT LEFT FRONT LOOKS LIKE? JOE HAS REPORTED A VIBRATION IN THE FRONT OF THE TIRE.>>EXACTLY WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT, EXACTLY. YOUR WHOLE POINT! MAN!>>YEAH, THAT CAN COST YOU RIGHT THERE. AND LOOKING AT THE CAR, THERE’S A LOT OF GUYS RUNNING DIFFERENT-SIZED ROTORS. THE SPEEDWAY ROTORS ARE NARROW, THEN SOME INTERMEDIATE TRACK ROTORS, WHICH ARE THICKER ROTORS. EVERYBODY’S TRYING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT DEAL TO TRY TO NOT BLOCK THE BRAKES UP WHEN THEY COME DOWN. YOU SEE NEMECHEK THERE, HE’S IN 37th PLACE, HE’S THE LAST CAR IN THE LEAD DRAFT.>>IF YOU FEEL A VIBRATION, YOU THINK YOU’VE LOCK UP A TIRE, B.P., THAT DOESN’T GET BETTER. IT WEARS ON YOUR MIND.>>IT ONLY GETS WORSE. THAT’S ONE REASON PROBABLY THAT NEMECHEK IN THAT 25 CAR FELL TO THE BACK OF THE LINE BECAUSE YOU CERTAINLY DON’T WANT TO HAVE A TIRE PROBLEM IN FRONT OF THESE CARS. AND HERE WE ARE AGAIN, THREE WIDE.>>ALL THE WAY BACK.>>HARVICK UP THERE NOW.>>SEE MICHAEL WALTRIP AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. GET BACK TOGETHER AFTER THEIR PIT STOPS. THEY’RE DRAFTING. HERE ARE THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AS THEY RUN NOW. THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE LAP AFTER LAP ALL DAY.>>IT’S GOING TO CHANGE AFTER THIS LAP, MOST LIKELY.>>THE BIG DEAL ABOUT THE FACT THAT MARTIN AND JOHNSON HAD THEIR PROBLEMS ON THE PACE LAP AND THEY’RE WAY BACK IN THE FIELD. IF YOU’RE NOT FAMILIAR — THE WINNER OF THE RACE GETS 175 POINTS. AND THEY GO BACKWARDS FIVE POINTS FOR A LITTLE WAY, THAN FOUR POINTS SO ON. THIRD PLACE GETS 165, SO ON. IF YOU LEAD A LAP, YOU GET FIVE BONUS POINTS. IF YOU LEAD THE MOST LAPS, YOU GET ANOTHER FIVE BONUS POINTS.>>WHAT YOU DON’T WANT IS A 43rd. BECAUSE THAT ONLY PAYS 34 POINTS AND IT’S POSSIBLE FOR SOME GUY TO GET 185.>>HOW DOES SOMEBODY LIKE ALLEN EVEN GET TO EXPLAIN THAT? MR. MATHEMATICIAN OVER HERE.>>THEY WROTE IT ON THE SCREEN.>>OH –>>IT WAS MY LUCKY DAY.>>KEVIN HARVICK GOES TO THE FRONT. KURT BUSCH JUST DRIVES DOWN THE INSIDE OF GORDON, TAKES OVER THE SECOND SPOT.>>HERE’S OUR ONLINE POLL FROM THE PRERACE SHOW — YOU AGREE WITH THE DRIVERS.>>I AGREE — YEAH, I AGREE WITH THE MAJORITY AS WELL.>>PHOENIX, JUST 3%. WOW. SEE IF THEY’RE RIGHT OR WRONG.>>SO FAR, GOT THE FIRST TWO GUYS IN POINTS THAT ARE HAVING SOME TROUBLE.>>MARK MARTIN 42nd, JOHNSON 40th. THERE’S RYAN NEWMAN. EIGHTH LAST TIME HE CROSSED THE START/FINISH LINE. YOU CAN NEVER SAY FOR SURE WHERE HE’S RUNNING, KPAEPT LAST TIME AT THE START/FINISH LINE. ANY AREA OF.>>YEAH.>>KEVIN HARVICK IS THE EIGHTH DIFFERENT DRIVER TO LEAD THE EA SPORTS 500 AT TALLEDEGA. YOU’RE WATCHING “NASCAR ON NBC.” , HE HADLEACKHA, 17th, THINK E GRAPC SAID. POT. TY C WAS IN THE THER H IWORKING WAY FORWARD.>>MICHAEL AND JUNIOR HAVE GOTTEN BACK TOGETHER.>>TODD BODINE IS THIRD, MICHAEL WALTRIP HEADING THE OUTSIDE CHARGE, RACING HIM THERE.>>UNBOARD WITH DALE EARNHARDT JR., THE BUD CAR, LET’S CHECK OUR TELEMETRY AND YOU’LL SEE THAT THE MILE PER HOUR RPM, PRETTY STEADY, ALL THE WAY AROUND THE RACETRACK. 189, 90. AS HE DROPS OFF DOWN THE CORNER, SOMETIMES WILL GO UP A LITTLE BIT. WOW, WOW, DID YOU SEE THAT SLIDE — KURT BUSCH. WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? YOU SEE THAT?>>SLIDE JOB AT TALLEDEGA.>>LOOK LIKE HE GOT IN OIL OR SOMETHING, HE CAME UP THE RACETRACK SO QUICKLY.>>MICHAEL WALTRIP TO SECOND, THREE DEEP FOR THIRD. RON HORNADAY IS IN THAT 55 CAR IN THE CENTER THERE. HE’S IN THE SSTITUTE ROLE FOR HAMLIN THIS WEEK.>>THE ONE THING YOU COULD NOT SEE ON THE TELEMETRY WAS THE WATER TEMPERATURE. UP TO 240 A LITTLE WHILE AGO. HE DROPPED BACK FROM TEAMMATE, THEN STARTED RACING AGAIN. NOW THEY’RE UP FRONT, IN A THREE-CAR PACK, THREE-CAR BREAKAWAY, I BELIEVE IT IS.>>THE 15 AND THE 8 TOGETHER AGAIN.>>HORNADAY, TERRIFIC RUN GOING IN THAT 55 CAR, HIS FIRST RIDE. IN THE 55.>>REMEMBER, BOBBY HAMILTON WON HERE IN THAT CAR, WHAT WAS IT, A YEAR AND A HALF AGO?>>THAT CAR ALSO STARRED IN — TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT HAPPEN, BECAUSE ON THE LAST LAP LAST YEAR, THE 55 AND 18 MADE CONTACT ABOUT 14 OTHER CARS INVOLVED.>>FOLKS, NOW, THIS IS NOT HARD WORK PHYSICALLY THAT THESE DRIVERS ARE DOING TODAY BECAUSE THIS RACETRACK REALLY IS EASY TO DRIVE, BUT MENTALLY WHAT THEY’RE GOING THROUGH IS ABOUT AS TOUGH AS IT GETS.>>YEAH, THERE’S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. THE ONLY THING MAYBE PHYSICALLY, B.P., WOULD BE THE HEAT. IT IS PRETTY WARM OUT THERE TODAY. SO THE INSIDE OF THE CARS ARE PRETTY HOT. SO YEAH, YOU ARE — YOUR BRAIN HURTS AFTER THE RACE YOU’RE CONCENTRATING SO MUCH.>>BURTON WITH THE INSIDE MOVE ON DALE EARNHARDT JR. FOR THIRD. HIS BROTHER WARD COMING UP BEHIND HIM IN THE 22 CAR.>>I THINK KURT BUSCH MOVED DOWN TO TRY TO GIVE SOME HELP TO JEFF BURTON. HE MIGHT HAVE MOVED DOWN, CAUSED HIMSELF TO LEAD.>>YOU KNOWS YOU’RE LOOKING IN THE MIRROR TO SEE WHO IS COMING. IF YOU SEE SOMEBODY COMING, YOU TRY TO MOVE UP THE RETRACK IN FRONT OF THEM HOPING THEY’LL PUSH YOU A LITTLE BIT.>>SO YOU’RE LOOKING THROUGH THE MIRROR A LOT.>>SEE DALE JARRETT INSIDE THE U.P.S. CAR.>>YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT A LOT OF ROOM, LOT OF AREA TO JUST REST HERE, YOU’VE GOT A LOT OF STRAIGHTAWAY. LIKE YOU SAID, PHYSICALLY IT’S NOT SO BAD. IT’S JUST THAT YOU GOT NO AIR — NOT A WHOLE LOT OF AIR COMING INSIDE THAT CAR TO COOL YOU OFF. BECAUSE THESE CARS ARE BUILT TO GO THROUGH THE AIR. AERODYNAMICALLY. NOTHING REALLY COMES INTO THE CAR. A LOT OF HEAT INSIDE THE CAR. WHEN YOU GET HEAVY RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC IN THE CITY, YOU GRIP THE WHEEL A LITTLE TIGHTER. WHAT ABOUT HERE YOU GRIP THE WHEEL TIGHTER THAN YOU MIGHT AT ANOTHER TRACK?>>I THINK SO — JEFF BURTON AND THE BURTON BROTHERS, WARD BURTON 22, GOING TO THE FRONT! THAT 22 CAR, NEW CREW CHIEF THIS WEEK, FRANKIE STOGGERT WHO WAS THE CREW CHIEF OF THE 99 CAR WHEN THE SEASON STARTED.>>INTERESTING DYNAMIC THAT IS HUH?>>SOMEBODY SCRAPED THE WALL HERE. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?>>IF YOU SEE A CAR COMING UP ON YOU, YOU DRIVE UP THE RACETRACK, AND TO GET A BUSH — SEE, THERE WASN’T ANY ROOM TO DRIVE UP IN FRONT OF MICHAEL ON THAT ONE.>>SEE IF THERE’S ANY DAMAGE –>>THEY GOT TOGETHER PRETTY GOOD.>>FENDERS ARE YOUR FRIENDS HERE AT TALLEDEGA.>>MICHAEL PROBABLY GOT THE WORST OF IT BECAUSE THE REAR FENDERS AREN’T AS IMPORTANT AS THE FRONT ONES.>>JUST A MINUTE AWAY FROM I GREEN FLAG PIT STOP. JEFF BURTON LEADS.>SERREEN. JEFF BURTONTIES TOEAD.RE SOND ROUN OF PIT STOPS. AS FOR THAT FIRST ROUND OF STOP, RUSTY WALLACE CAME IN AT LAP 35 AND BASICALLY WAS OUT OF FUEL. THEY REFUELED HIM, GAVE HIM RIGHT-SIDE TIRES AND SENT HIM BACK OUT. RUSTY BY TAKING TWO TIRES WILL NOT TAKE ANY TIRES WHEN HE STOPS THIS TIME. PROBABLY WILL TAKE LESS BECAUSE THAT TIME CAN BE USED WHILE THEY’RE FUELING THE CAR. TO DAVE BURNS.>>WARD BURTON TOOK ON RIGHT-SIDE TIRE ON HIS STOP. VERY HAPPY WITH THIS CAR, NOT THE CAR THAT WON THE DAYTONA 500. THEY TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU AND PUT IT IN THE DAYTONA USA ATTRACTION FOR A YEAR. THIS IS A BACKUP CAR TO THE ONE THAT RAN HERE IN APRIL. HE LIKES IT.>>MICHAEL WALTRIP’S TEAM IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE FRONT FENDER. HE ASKED HIS CREW CHIEF TO TAKE A LOOK AT IT WITH THE BINOCULARS. HE SAYS IT LOOKS FINE. NOT TOO WORRIED ABOUT IT. LEFT, FRONT FENDER FOR MICHAEL WALTRIP, A LITTLE CONCERN. THE LONGER THIS GOES GREEN, THE MORE STORY FUEL MILEAGE BECOME. MANY TEAMS CAN LAST UNTIL LAP 72. WALTRIP’S TEAM MIGHT BE ABLE TO STAY OUT LONGER THAN THAT.>>JOHNSON RUNS BACK IN THE 40th POSITION ALTHOUGH HE’S UP TO THE 6th PLACE ON THE RACETRACK TRYING TO STAY CLOSE TO THE FRONT SO IF WE GET A CAUTION FOR THE BIG ONE, HE CAN TRY TO GET LAP BACK. HE SAID CAR’S NOT THAT BAD, BILL HE’S JUST TRY TO STAY UP TO THE FRONT.>>AND, ONCE AGAIN, RICKY CRAVEN LEADS THE PARADE ON PIT ROAD. AGAIN, THE SECOND ROUND OF STOPS UNDER GREEN. NOT EXPECTING ANY CHASSIS ADJUSTMENTS HERE. TWO RIGHT SIDE TIRES PACKING THAT FUEL CELL WITH AS MUCH GAS AS THEY CAN GET IN IT, ABOUT 13 GALLONS, 13 1/2, HE’S ON WAY.>>BILL ELLIOTT’S IN, TWO-TIME TALLEDEGA WINNER. AIR PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT ON HIS FIRST STOP BECAUSE THE AIR WAS A LITTLE TIGHT. SAID HE FEELS LIKE IT JUST QUIT TURNING. SERVICE COMPLETE ON ELLIOTT.>>THE 336 WALLACE WAS TIGHT, THEY MADE A WEDGE ADJUSTMENT TO FIX THAT, PUT ON TWO RIGHT-SIDE TIRE, THEN HE STALLED IT TRYING TO LEAVE PIT LANE. A LENGTHY PIT STOP.>>CASEY ATWOOD ALSO IN THIS LAP. NO TAKERS THIS TIME, EVERYBODY COMES PAST PIT ROAD.>>IF THIS THING GOES GREEN ALL THE WAY, THOSE CARS THAT JUST PITTED, GROSS THEM OFF.>>THEY’RE IN TROUBLE.>>ROBBY GORDON, UP TO THIRD SPOT NOW.>>AND KURT BUSCH — RIDING THE RIM. HOW ABOUT THAT?>>– CARS BEHIND HIM.>>LIKE I SAID EARLIER, START TO GET DOWN TO THAT BOTTOM GROOVE BECAUSE CARS WILL START PITTING AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE BOTTOM GROOVE.>>THIS ARE WHERE THEY’RE EXPECTING TROUBLE, WITH GUYS SHUFFLING TOWARDS PIT ROAD IN BUNCHES.>>A LOT OF HAND MOTION, WAVING TO THE GUYS BEHIND THEM, LETTING THEM KNOW YOU’RE PITTING, GIVE ME A LITTLE ROOM BECAUSE I’LL BE SLOWING DOWN.>>KENNY WALLACE, BACK ON PIT ROAD — TRYING TO GET DOWN TO THAT 55 MILE PER HOUR SPEED LIMIT ON PIT ROAD. ON THE RACETRACK, THE WAR WAGES ON.>>KEN SCHRADER ON PIT ROAD, LEFT-SIDE TIRES AND FUEL. HE HAD COMPLAINED ABOUT A VIBRATION RIGHT AFTER HIS FIRST PIT STOP. NO PROBLEM SINCE THEN. HE’S ON HIS WAY. TO DAVE.>>LEFT-SIDE TIRES NOW FOR JOE NEMECHEK. REMEMBER, HE HAD REPORTED THERE WAS THAT VIBRATION, THAT HE MIGHT HAVE HAD FROM SKIDDING TIRES COMING IN. I’M GOING TO TAKE A LOOK REAL QUICK ON LEFT FRONT, JUST TO SEE. AND HE DID NOT. SO THERE WAS SOME SORT OF VIBRATION. BUT IT WASN’T A HUGE FLAT SPOT LIKE HE HAD ON THE RIGHT FRONT.>>KEN SCHRADER, SPENCER, TERRY LABONTE, BENSON AND NEMECHEK THOSE WHO STOPPED THIS TIME. NOW JEFF BURTON IS OUT OF LINE AND COMING TO PIT ROAD. FOUR — FIVE OTHER FOLLOWING HIM IN. BILL?>>THEY TOLD JEFF BURTON THAT HE HAD A PARADE OF CARS BEHIND HIM, INCLUDING THE 40 CAR, PITTED DIRECTLY BEHIND HIM. THAT’S THE ROOKIE, JAMIE McMURRAY. FOR JEFF BURTON, LEFT-SIDE TIRES AND FUEL. THE FUEL GOING IN, THE TIRES GOING ON. McMURRAY GETS A FRESH WINDSHIELD A TRACK BAR ADJUSTMENT, RIDE-SIDE TIRES AND FUEL, SPINS THE TIRES AND TAKES OFF DOWN PIT ROAD. BURTON HAD A FASTER SPOT.>>BURTON, EXCELLENT. HE GOT IN THERE HARD, DID NOT LOCK THE FRONT TIRES UP, ESPECIALLY THE RIGHT FRONT. GOOD THING, BECAUSE THEY CHANGE THE LEFTS ONLY.>>McMURRAY THAT TIME DID NOT STALL THE ENGINE, AS HE DID THE FIRST TIME.>>MACK KENSETH, BODINE FOLLOWING OFF THE PIT LANE. WHO IS GOING TO COME IN THIS TIME? MOST OF THE LEADERS STAY OUT ONCE MORE. IT’S TODD BODINE AND DAVE BLANEY COMING IN. AND DAVE BURNS IS GOING TO COVER THE TODD BODINE STOP.>>IF BODINE CAN END UP THE LEADER AT THE END OF THE DAY, AN INDIVIDUAL FROM A SCHOOL WILL WIN THE MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE. SHE’S 80 YEARS OLD, AND HOPING THESE TWO TIRES WILL HELP TODD BODINE.>>THE LAST STOP, THE 77 GAVE DAVE BLANEY RIGHT-SIDE TIRES. THIS TIMEROUND, LAPS.>>HERE’S ROBBY GORDON LOOKING FOR THE LEAD ON KURT BUSCH AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. PUSHING UP THERE.>>TWO OF THESE CARS ARE RIGHT ON BOARD WITH RYAN NEWMAN. HE’S ALSO RACING FOR A MILLION DOLLARS FOR A FAN. SO IS DARN. SO IS DALE EARNHARDT JR.>>GOT ABOUT EIGHT CARS BREAKING OFF TO PIT ROAD. BILL?>>RUSTY WALLACE LEADS THIS PARADE. MARK MARTIN FOLLOWING HIM ALONG WITH THE 22, 14, 33. LEFT-SIDE TIRES FOR RUSTY THIS TIME. FUEL GOING IN. DID NOT RUN OUT OF FUEL ON THIS RUN. WALLACE, WAITING ON THE FUEL, WAITING, AND WE GO TO DAVE.>>WARD BURTON STILL HAPPY WITH BURTON.GHT-SIDE TIRES AGAIN FOR THEY TOOK ON RIGHT SIDES LAST TIME. THEY REPEAT THE PROCESS.>>I SEE THAT TIME THAT THE SIGNAL FOR WARD BURTON TO GO WAS LETTING THE JACK GO. NORMALLY THAT IS A SIGNAL FOR THE DRIVER TO GO. WHEN THE JACK GOES DN, YOU GO. NOTICE WITH ALL THESE GUYS JUST CHANGING TWO TIRE, THEY’RE LETTING THE CAR DOWN AND TELLING THE DRIVER VERBALLY WHEN TO LEAVE WHEN THE GAS TANK IS FULL.>>MOST OF THE LEADERS STAY OUT AGAIN EXCEPT THE LEADER — KURT BUSCH IS IN, AT LAP 70. A COUPLE OTHERS FOLLOWING HIM IN. MARTY?>>HE RAN OUT FRONT FOR MOST OF THAT SEGMENT, ALLEN. VERY HAPPY WITH THE CHASSIS OF THE CAR NOW. MANY TEAMS CONSIDERING TAKING LEFT-SIDE TIRE. THEY WILL GO WITH RIGHT-SIDE TIRES THIS TIME. SLIDES A LITTLE. PRETTY GOOD PIT FUEL MILEAGE, BETTER THAN MOST TEAMS.>>THE 29 OF HARVICK, RIGHT-SIDE TIRES ON THIS STOP, SERVICE COMPLETE, DOWN AND AWAY.>>JERRY NADEAU AND KEVIN HARVICK, LEAVING BEHIND KURT BUSCH AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. IS THE LEADER OF THE RACE. JEFF GORDON, RUNNING SECOND. WATCHING THEM COME OFF TURN FOUR. IS THIS THE LAP THEY STOP? NOT YET.>>ROBBY GORDON, DALE JARRETT, LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE DUCKING IN.>>YEP. EVERY LAP JUNIOR AND GORDON COULD STRETCH THAT FUEL IT COULD BE BIG.>>TURNING IN TO BE A REAL FUEL RACE. MARTY?>>DALE JARRETT COME DOWN PIT ROAD. GORDON IN FRONT OF HIM. ROBBY HAVING A GREAT RUN. JARRETT HAPPY WITH THE CHASSIS. JUST A LITTLE TIGHT FOR D.J. THIS FINISH IN KANSAS LAST WEEK, 39th. THEY WANT A REBOUND FROM THAT. AN AIR PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT FOR THE 88 BUNCH.>>JUNIOR STOPPED AT LAP 35 SO HE’S BEEN 37 LAPS NOW. BOBBY GORDON LOST A LITTLE TIME THERE.■■>>AND HE HAD TO PUSH HIS CAR BACK INTO THE PIT BOX BEFORE THEY COULD DO ANYTHING FROM THE CAR.>>LOOKS LIKE GORDON’S COMING IN THIS TIME.>>RYAN NEWMAN, BOBBY LABONTE, TONY STEWART. DALE JR. STAYS OUT. MAN, THEY’RE GETTING SOME FUEL MILEAGE IN THAT 8 CAR TODAY. DAVE?>>JEFF JUST RADIOED IN, IT’S STILL RUN. SO THEY WERE CLOSE ON FUEL. ROBBIE LOOMIS REMINDED HIM, GO SLOW ON PIT ROAD. HE DOESN’T WANT TO — OH, NOW IT STALLS. THE CAR STALLS, THEY SPRAY ETHER AND THEY’RE STILL SPRAYING, HE REFIRES, HE’S GONE. MATT?>>STILL TRYING TO PACK THAT FUEL CELL FULL OF FUEL, DAVE. TONY STEWART, LEFT-SIDE TIRES. HE EASED IN TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE TIRES. MARTY?>>QUICK STOP FOR THE 12 BUNCH. RIGHT-SIDE TIRES AND NO ADJUSTMENTS FOR RYAN NEWMAN WHO KEPT IT UP IN THE FRONT OF THAT PACK FOR MOST OF THAT RUN. HAPPY WITH CAR NOW.>>IT LOOKS LIKE FINALLY THE DEI CARS WILL COME DOWN PIT ROAD.>>HEARD THE REPORT FROM MARTY EARLIER THAT THE LEFT FRONT FENDER, THE CREW DIDN’T THINK WAS DAMAGED ON MICHAEL WALTRIP’S CAR FROM THAT ENCOUNTER WITH KURT BUSCH. LET’S SEE AS THEY GET A CLOSER LOOK ON IT NOW ON THIS PIT STOP.>>MARTY, HERE THEY COME.>>WELL, GUY, I TELL YOU IF THIS TINGE TURNS INTO A FUEL MILEAGE RACE THAT KB BIG BECAUSE THESE CARS ARE GOING FURTHER THAN ANYBODY ELSE. IT IS BOWED IN JUST A BIT. THEY’LL PULL IT AWAY. NO CHANGES FOR THE CAR THAT RUN UP FRONT MOST OF THAT SEGMENT. HE IS VERY HAPPY WITH THAT 15 CAR.>>AND RICKY RUDD — AND KYLE PETTY. DAVE, THAT 28 CAR, THEY GOT IT GOING TODAY.>>THEY DO HAVE IT GOING. THEY ACTUALLY CHANGED TWO RIGHT-SIDE TIRES QUICKLY, THEN WAITED A LITTLE LONGER FOR ALL OF THE FUEL TO GET IN THE FUEL CELL. I HEARD A PROBLEM THIS WEEKEND IS GETTING THE FUEL TO GO IN ALL THE WAY BECAUSE THERE’S NOT AS MUCH FUEL TO FORCE THE AIR OUT. A PROBLEM THEY’RE TRYING TO FIX BY SHAKING THE CAR OR JUST WAITING A LITTLE LONGER.>>WOW.>>MICHAEL WALTRIP AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. RACED OFF OF PIT ROADSIDE BY SIDE AS ONE AND TWO AS THE FASTER FIELD RACED UP ON THEM. I THOUGHT JUNIOR WOULD GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SOUP THERE FOR A SECOND.>>HE’LL BE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RACE, BUT LUCKILY A SPOTTER TOLD HIM JUST AT THE LAST INSTANT TO MOVE DOWN. HE DID, THEY’RE ABLE TO GET BY.>>MARTY, MICHAEL WALTRIP’S TEAM HAS HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THAT FENDER.>>YOU HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THE FENDER DAMAGE UP CLOSE. WHAT DO YOU THINK?>>THAT’S NORMAL. MICHAEL ALWAYS SEEMS TO KNOCK THE FENDER WHEN WE COME TO THESE PLACE. WE’RE TRYING TO MAKE IT A FUEL MILEAGE RACE. HOPING THE BIG ONE DOESN’T HAPPEN. EVERYBODY’S GOOD TO GO.>>WILL THAT DAMAGE HURT YOU?>>NO, IT’S BEEN RUNNING GOOD. WE WENT FROM THE BACK, TO THE FRONT. IT’S SO A NORMAL DEAL FOR US.>>THAT DAMAGE DID MAKE THE CAR A LITTLE TIGHTER, BUT AGAIN, THEY MADE NO CHANGES ON THAT STOP.>>MARTY THINK HE MEANT TWO MORE STOPS — I DON’T BELIEVE HE CAN RUN THE REST OF THE WAY ON ONE MORE STOP.>>113 LAPS — NO.>>NOT GONNA HAPPEN.>>DOES YOUR MATH AGREE WITH THAT?>>I DON’T –>>WE’RE COUNTING ON YOU ALLEN.>>WE’LL STOP AND FIGURE IT OUT.>>HERE’S THE LEADER, BUSCH. BURTON IS SECOND. NADEAU UP TO THIRD. [email protected]>THE E SPO TAED AIVEN NB JUST PSE 200 MILES IN THE RACE A 35 CARS IN THE LEAD DRAFT. AMONG THOSE 35, MOST OF THE COCA-COLA RACING FAMILY — HARVICK, DALE JARRETT, JEST BURTON IN THE TOP TEN. MICHAEL WALTRIP GETTING SHUFFLED BACK A LITTLE ON THE LAST PIT STOP. SAME FOR BOBBY LABONTE AND TONY STEWART. KYLE PETTY STILL RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PACK ALSO.>>JERRY NADEAU HAD TO COME BACK IN FOR SOMETHING.>>YEAH, UNSCHEDULED STOP FOR SOMETHING. HE WAS IN THE TOP FIVE, THEN DUCKED INTO THE PITS.>>HAD TO BE A LOOSE WHEEL IF HE CAME BACK IN THAT QUICKLY.>>GOOD POINT.>>I BET WE’LL FOLLOW IT UP TO BE SURE.>>THESE TIRE CHANGERS, THEY DO IT FAST, BUT YOU GOT TO BE SURE THE LUG NUTS ARE TIGHT.>>KURT BUSCH IS THE LEADER. ONE OF TEN DIFFERENT DRIVERS OUT IN FRONT TODAY. KEVIN HARVICK SECOND, RUSTY WALLACE FOURTH, AND JAMIE McMURRAY, THE ROOKIE IN MARLIN’S CAR, RUNNING FIFTH. GETTING CHALLENGED FROM DALE JARRETT. AND THEY’RE THREE WIDE, JUST A LITTLE BIT BEHIND HIM.>>CRAVEN, THAT 32 CAR, CONTINUING GREAT RUN. BUT IF IT DOES TURN OUT TO BE A FUEL MILEAGE RACE, ONCE AGAIN, HE’S DOOMED.>>WE’VE GOT CAMERAS THAT ARE MOUNTED LOW ON TOP OF THE RETAINING WALL IN A COUPLE PLACES WE CALL SPEED SHOTS. A NUMBER OF YOU HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN WE HAD A BUG ON OUR BACKSTRETCH SPEED SHOT. IT WASN’T A BUG. WATCH THIS. THIS IS LAP ONE. ROCK, SOMETHING, CRACK.>>I VOTE YOU GO OUT AND CHANGE THAT, ALLEN.>>ME?>>YEAH, JUST JUMP OUT THERE AND CHANGE IT. I’M SURE THEY WON’T HIT YOU.>>YOU GOT 51 SECONDS BY THE TIME THEY COME BACK AROUND.>>NICE TO KNOW WHO MY FRIENDS ARE.>>HOW ABOUT DALE JARRETT, TRYING TO GET IT ROLLING TOWARDS THE FRONT?>>BILL, WHAT HAPPENED TO NADEAU?>>HE THOUGHT HE HAD A TIRE GOING DOWN, CAME DOWN TO PIT ROAD. HE ACTUALLY HAD A RIGHT FRONT FENDER RUBBING ON IT. TOOK THE TIRES OUT, PULLED THE FENDER OFF. IT WASN’T GOING DOWN — IT WASN’T DOWN YET, BUT PROBABLY GOING DOWN WITH THAT FENDER RUBBING ON IT. HAD TO PULL HIM IN, FIX IT, SEND HIM BACK OUT. THAT HURTS.>>HE’S ABOUT TO GO A LAP DOWN.>>IN 35th PLACE. JUST IN FRONT OF THIS PACK OF LEAD CARS.>>WE TALKED ABOUT IT EARLIER, ONE MISTAKE ON PIT ROAD, OR WHATEVER, IF YOU HAVE TO COME IN THERE’S ANY KIND OF PROBLEM, YOU’RE DONE HERE, REALLY.>>THAT’S LIKE MIKE SKINNER, THE 4 CAR. WE SAW HIM CHARGE IN THE BACK TO THE 34 SPOT AND RUN OUT OF FUEL. HE’S A LAP DOWN, PROBABLY GOING TO HAVE A STRUGGLE TO GET IT BACK. WELL, HE CAN’T GET IT B>>OUR LOWE’S IMPROVERS AND SNOOZERS. THIS THING WOULD SHUFFLE BACK AND FORTH. YOU CAN FIND YOURSELF STARTING 30th, RUNNING 2nd, THEN RUNNING 40th, THEN 9th. THAT’S HOW IT IS, HERE AT TALLEDEGA.>>LET’S GO THE OTHER WAY. JOHNSON AND MARTIN, ON THE FIRST LAP MAKING CONTACT AND BOTH CARS HAD TO GO TO THE PITS. JOHNSON HAS LOST 41 SPOTS.>>FIRST LAP, IT WAS THE PACE LAPS.>>YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT, PACE LAP.>>THEY DIDN’T EVEN GET TO THE GREEN FLAG. WE HAD THE ONLY PROBLEM OF THE DAY SO FAR.>>THAT’S 65 MILES AN HOUR.>>YEAH. MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES, PRETTY TIGHT. TEN WINS TO NINE FOR FORD OVER CHEVROLET. DODGE NOT OWL THAT FAR BEHIND.>>RUSTY WALLACE IN FOURTH SPOT. LOOKING UP THE BACK OF THE DODGE WARD BURTON.>>38 CAREER RACES AT TALLEDEGA FOR RUSTY, ONLY 11 TOP 10 FINISHES.>>TELL YOU WHAT POINTS IS REALLY TIGHTENING UP NOW.>>AND LOOK AT WHERE RUSTY IS.>>20 POINTS OUT IN FIFTH SPOT IF THE RACE WERE TO END RIGHT NOW. OBVIOUSLY, IT’S NOT GOING TO DO THAT. WHAT’S HAPPENING DOWN THERE, MATT?>>BENNY, THINGS HAVE GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE FOR EITT SADLER. NOW REPORTING HE’S GOT A BROKEN SHOT. THEY’LL HAVE TO RIDE IT OUT. REMEMBER, HE FINISHED SECOND BACK IN FEBRUARY AT THE DAYTONA 500. HOPING FOR MORE HERE IN THE SEASON’S FINAL PLAY RACE. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN TODAY.>>41st PLACE RIGHT NOW.>>HUH, THAT IS TOO BAD.>>EASIER TO TELL YOU THE GUYS THAT AREN’T ON THE LEAD LAP. KENNY WALLACE IS A LAP DOWN, HAD TO MAKE AN EXTRA PIT STOP. MARTIN, JOHNSON, BOTH LAPS DOWN. REMEMBER THE PROBLEM ON THE PACE LAPS WE JUST TALKED ABOUT. DAVE BLANEY, HAD PIT PROBLEMS THAT TOOK HIM OUT OF THE RUNNING ORDER. RELATED TO FUEL. AND JAY SAUDER IS OFF THE RACETRACK. AND THE ONLY ONE OF THE 43 STARTERS NOT CURRENTLY IN THE RUNNING. ORTS 5 A TDEGA.O CAUTN-FREE SO FAR. COLLISION ON PACE LAP BETWEEN THE FRONT-ROW STARTERS MARK MARTIN AND JIMMIE JOHNSON. THAT HAS THEM BOTH WELL BACK IN THE FIELD. MARTIN 40th AND JOHNSON 42nd. NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL — NEXT SATURDAY –>>I’LL TELL YOU ONE THING, THE FIGHTING IRISH STRUGGLED THAT FIRST QUARTER YESTERDAY AGAINST STANFORD.>>THEY DID.>>THEY SOON RIGHTED THE SHIP.>>KURT BUSCH IS THE LEADER. JEFF GORDON IS SECOND, DALE EARNHARDT JR. IS THIRD, AND YOU SEE ALL THE WAY BACK TO KYLE PETTY, THE 32nd PLACE CAR, STILL IN THE LEAD DRAFT.>>WALLY, IT DOES LOOK LIKE THE SMALL GAS TANK HAS DONE A LOT TO SPREAD THESE CARS OUT.>>IT REALLY HASN’T. WE HAVE DROPPED, WHAT, MAYBE TEN GUYS DUE TO PROBLEMS IN THE PITS OR GETTING ON OR OFF PIT LANE, OUT OF THAT PIT GROUP. BUT STILL HAVE A BIG GROUP.>>STILL GOT 33 CARS IN THAT LARGE GROUP. THAT’S WHAT NASCAR, I THINK, WAS TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM. THEY WANT FIVE OR SIX 10-CAR GROUPS.>>YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT HAND SIGNALS — HERE COMES JEFF GORDON FOR THE LEAD ON KURT BUSCH.>>BOY, HE GOT A GREAT PUSH FROM DALE EARNHARDT JR. AND MICHAEL WALTRIP IN THE 15 CAR. AND JUST BLEW BY KURT BUSCH.>>JEFF GORDON, WINNER OF THREE OF THE LAST SIX RACES ON THE NASCAR WINSTON CUP CIRCUIT, FOURTH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. JUST 109 POINTS BEHIND LEADER JIMMIE JOHNSON. WATCH ROBBY GORDON AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. HERE ON THIS REPLAY, GUYS. CROWDED, CROWDED, CROWDED. AND DON’T DO THAT ANY MORE. THINK HE WAS SAYING, “HAVE A NICE DAY.” JUNIOR IN SECOND, AND LAST LAP, ROBBY GORDON SHUFFLED BACK TO 19th. HOW ABOUT JEFF GORDON, DAVE?>>I’M NOT SURE HOW MANY LAPS JEFF GORDON WILL LEAD BECAUSE WHEN YOU LEAD YOU DON’T QUITE AS GOOD FUEL MILEAGE AS YOU FOLLOW. HIS CREW CHIEF RADIOED TO HIM, SAVE AN MUCH AS YOU CAN, WE’RE CLOSE ON FUEL TODAY. REMEMBER ARE THEY STALLED IT LAST TIME.>>A LOT MORE FUN TO LEAD, THOUGH.>>YEAH, I MEAN, IT REALLY IS A LOT MORE FUN. YOU GET TO PLAN ALL THE STRATEGY OF TRYING TO WIN, BUT, YOU KNOW, EVEN IF YOU WIN, IT’S BORING FOR 500 MILES AND YOU LIKE TO HAVE FUN WHILE YOU’RE OUT THERE LIKE JUNIOR A LITTLE BIT AGO WHEN HE WAS RIDING UP HIGH, AND HE SAID HIGH’S WHERE IT’S AT.>>RYAN NEWMAN INSIDE OF JEFF BURTON — NO, MAKE THAT RICKY CRAVEN. HE’S NOT INSIDE CRAVEN ANY MORE. OOH, THAT’S TIGHT. ALL RIGHT, THEY’RE COME TO HALFWAY. ED MI COMGLAGIT. G TO SARATIO A>>YH, HEREOMES JUNIOR.,LLEN.>>THESE LAST FEW LAPS WITH JEFF GORDON IN FRONT, I HAD SEEN SOME OF THE FASTEST SPEEDS I’D SEEN ALL DAY LONG. COULDN’T PULL IT OFF –>>NEEDS SOME HELP.>>YOU KNOW MICHAEL’S GOING TO HELP HIM EVENTUALLY.>>IT WOULD BE THE SMART THING TO DO.>>WALTRIP IN THE 15, DALE EARNHARDT JR. IN THE 8. CORPORATE TEAMMATES AT DALE EARNHARDT INCORPORATED. AND TOGETHER, HAVE DOMINATED THE RACES AT DAYTONA AND TALLEDEGA IN THE LAST TWO SEASONS.>>IF THEY WOULD HAVE STAYED IN LINE, THEY WOULD HAVE BROKEN AWAY FROM THAT SECOND PACK.>>GOT TO HAVE FUN, GOT TO ENJOY THEMSELVES. BUT IN DOING SO, LET EVERYBODY ELSE BACK IN THE RACE.>>GOING TO MIKE WALTRIP IN THE BOX. MICHAEL TRIED TO SQUEEZE INTO THAT LOW LINE IN FRONT OF WARD BURTON. YOU KNOW, I TALKED ABOUT DOMINANCE OF THE DAYTONA/TALLEDEGA RACES BY DALE EARNHARDT INCORPORATED IN THE PAST TWO SEASONS, SEVEN RACES, THEY HAVE FOUR WIN, FOUR SECOND PLACE FINISHES AND A TOP TWO SWEEP IN THREE OF THOSE SEVEN.>>AND HAVE LED 45% OF ALL THE LAPS RUN. BILL, 32’S IN THE PITS AGAIN.>>HE’S ABOUT TO BE ON HIS WAY, BUT HE DID SLIDE TO A STOP. THE ONLY CHANGE LEFT, GOT FUEL, HE’S GONE.>>BILL ELLIOTT’S IN, LEFT-SIDE TIRES. PROBABLY HAVE TO MAKE AN EXTRA STOP. CAN ONLY GO ABOUT 32 LAPS EVERY RUN. FILLS IT FULL OF FUEL, SERVICE COMPLETE FOR ELLIOTT.>>YEAH, HE CAN RUN 32 LAPS AND THE DEI CARS, SO FAR, HAVE RUN 38 LAPS. WHEN YOU STOP THREE OR FOUR TIMES, YOU CAN SEE, THAT’S THE PIT STOP.>>JEFF GORDON ABLE TO HOLD ON TO THE LEAD. DALE EARNHARDT JR. SLIPPED BACK TO RACING KURT BUSCH FOR SECOND PLACE. JOHN ANDRETTI UP THERE IN THE MIX. ANDRETTI IN SEVENTH. 33 CAR, KENNY WALLACE, DAVE?>>TOOK ON RIGHT-SIDE TIRES, THE FIRST TIME, GUYS. TOOK ON NO FRESH TIRES THE LAST TIME. AND HE’LL TAKE ON LEFT-SIDE TIRES THIS TIME. REMEMBER LAST TIME HE GOT A PENALTY FOR LEAVING THE PIT BOX WHILE HE WAS STILL FUELING, HE CROSSED THE LINE.>>YEAH, THAT WAS MENTIONED IN THE DRIVER’S AND CREW CHIEF’S MEETING THIS MORNING, THAT YOU HAVE TO DISCONNECT THAT FUEL CAN BEFORE YOU CROSS THE FRONT LINE OF THAT PIT. YOU’LL SEE A LOT OF THESE GASMEN TRYING TO RUN WITH THE CAR.>>I DID NOT REALIZE THAT WAS A PENALTY.>>THAT WOULD BE TAKING EQUIPMENT OUT OF THE PIT BOX, WHICH IS A PENALTY. AGAIN, THEY WERE ESPECIALLY WARNED ABOUT THAT IN THE DRIVER’S MEETING THIS MORNING.>>48 CAR, THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER, STARTING THE DAY, IS IN.>>HE WAS THE LONE RANGER OUT THERE RUNNING BY HIMSELF WITHOUT ANYBODY TO DRAFT WITH. A RIGHT-SIDE TIRE CHANGE ON JIMMIE JOHNSON. TO DAVE.>>JOE NEMECHEK TWO RIGHT-SIDE FIRE, FULL OF FUEL, DOWN PIT ROAD.>>MAYBE THOSE TWO WERE KENDRICK OWNED CARS, CAN LINK UP TOGETHER TO GIVE JOHNSON A BOOST.>>NEMECHEK COME DOWN PIT ROAD. TERRY LABONTE, THE KELLOGGS’ CAR IS RIGHT BEHIND HIM. MAYBE THEY HAVE A BEG SHOT AT GETTING HOOKED UP. I TOLD HIM, LABONTE STALL THE CAR TRYING TO GET OUT OF THE PIT WHY NEMECHEK WAS BEHIND HIM.>>PRETTY IMPRESSIVE, WEBER GOT MORE BUSINESS ON PIT ROAD?>>YEAH A LOT OF BUSINESS NOW. MATT KENSETH HERE, GETTING LEFT-SIDE TIRES AND FUEL. STILL WAITING ON FUEL. TAKES A LITTLE BIT LONGER TO PUT THE FUEL IN THAN THE TIRES ON.>>MATT GOING TO FLY TO NATIVE WISCONSIN AND HEAD TO THE PACKERS’ GAME MONDAY NIGHT. DOESN’T GET TO DO THAT MUCH DURING RACING SEASON — OH, JEFF GORDON GOT A SLIDE WIDE AROUND SOME OF THE SLOWER TRAFFIC. KURT BUSCH, MOVING THROUGH AT THE BOTTOM.>>WOW, EVIDENTLY, GORDON HAD TO BACK UP COMPLETELY OFF THE THROTTLE BECAUSE HE’S LOST ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR SPOTS.>>MIKE SKINNER’S NOT ON THE LEAD LAP. 7 CAR OF ATWOOD IS NOT ON THE LEAD LAP.>>CAME UP ON THOSE CARS SO FAST JUST KIND OF SCATTERED.>>JEFF LOST A LOT OF MOMENTUM HAVING TO GET OUT OF THE GAS THERE.>>STILL GETTING SHUFFLED BACK ON THE OUTSIDE. SO KURT BUSCH IS THE NEW LEADER. TALKED TO HIM ABOUT WHAT HE’S LEARNING WHILE LEADING THIS RACE.>>WE ARE HAULING — NOW, I CAN FEEL IT.>>YEAH.>>I MEAN, I WAS FEELING A LITTLE PULL — I TOLD YOU YESTERDAY I NEEDED TO WORK ON WHEN I WAS IN THE LEAD. I DID THAT TODAY, LEARNED A LOT OF THINGS, JUST PITCHED THE 15. I WILL RIDE FOR A LITTLE BIT, USE THAT KNOWLEDGE LATER.>>BACK EARLIER WHEN HE PINCHED MICHAEL WALTRIP –>>I GUESS THAT’S WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT. WOULDN’T BE BRAGGING ABOUT THAT, THOUGH.>>NO. JAMIE McMURRAY, IS HE OUT OF GAS? BILL, DID HE RUN OUT?>>YEAH, HE RAN OUT AND HE’S CONCERNED BECAUSE YOU RUN OUT OF FUEL, YOU TACH DOESN’T WORK. THEY TOLD HIM GUESS YOUR BEST ON SPEED BUT DON’T GO OVER IT.>>HOW DO YOU DO THAT?>>I DON’T KNOW, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S YOUR FIRST WINSTON CUP RACE. McMURRAY’S IN HIS PIT STALL. THEY SPRAY THE FLUID IN THE INTAKE TO TRY TO HELP GET HIM START. LEFT-SIDE TIRES ARE ON. STILL WAITING TO TRY TO GET IT STARTED. WILL NOT START. NOW THEY’LL HAVE TO PUSH IT. GOT A LONG WAY TO GO, TRYING TO FIRE. NO LUCK, YOU HAVE TO GET THAT THING FIRED FAST. THOSE GUYS WILL RUN OUT OF GAS LIKE THAT CAR DID.>>OUT OF THE PACK NOW, PROBABLY GOING TO LOSE A LAP BECAUSE OF THAT.>>IF YOU’RE NEW TO NASCAR, THERE ARE NO SPED DOMER ITS ON THESE THINGS, THEY JUDGE THEIR SPEED BY THE TACHOMETER, WHICH DOESN’T WORK WITH THE ENGINE SHUT OFF.>>IF YOU HAVE TO COAST ALL THE WAY DOWN PIT ROAD, THERE’S NO WAY IN THE ROAD HE’D EVER GUESS 55 MILES PER HOUR.>>MICHAEL WALTRIP NOW IN FRONT. KURT BUSCH IS SECOND. DALE EARNHARDT JR., RIDING WITH HIM HERE, HE’S IN THIRD. TODD BODINE IS FOURTH. KEVIN HARVICK IS FIFTH. TODD ALL THE WAY DOWN ON THE INSIDE. HARVICK YOU’RE LOOK AT THE BUMPER OF.>>SKINNER GOT BACK IN FRONT OF THESE GUYS.>>WE HAVE ONE OF OUR CREW CAMS, OUR PIT CREW CAM MOUNTED ON THE HELMET OF GUY, ON ONE OF JAMIE McMURRAY’S TEAM MEMBERS DURING THAT LAST “WE’RE OUT OF FUEL” STOP.>>THE TIRE CHANGER, CLAY ROBINSON. CLAY’S QUICK. PUSH, CLAY, PUSH!>>OH.>>PUSH.>>THANK GOD THAT CAR STARTED, HE SAID.>>NICE JOB.>>IT’S A GOOD THING THEY GOT THESE GUYS IN SHAPE. THEY PUSHED IT A LOT FAR THE THAN I THOUGHT THEY COULD.>>THERE’S MATT KENSETH IN THE 17. DON’T FORGET THE TICKER ACROSS TOP, THE GUYS ALREADY STOPPED, WILL BE SHOWN IN YELLOW. KENSETH ONE OF THE GUYS IN JUST A FEW LAPS AGO. HERE’S WARD BURTON IN.>>GET A CHASSIS ADJUSTMENT, LEFT-SIDE TIRES. TAKEN RIGHTS ON THE FIRST TWO STOPS. HE NEEDED TO TAKE LEFTS AND GET A FULL CAN OF FUEL IN THERE.>>MARK MARTIN ARE JOHN ANDRETTI THERE. IS THAT FRANKIE STODDARD I HEAR ON THE RADIO?>>I HEARD HIM YELLING SOMETHING.>>”GO HARD, GO HARD.” REJOINS THE HUNT. THE DAYTONA 500 WINNER. CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AS THEY ARE ON THE TRACK NOW –>>TONY STEWART TO THE FRONT.>>I COULDN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THAT LOOKED LIKE AT THE END OF THE DAY.>>RUSTY MADE A PIT STOP, WALLY.>>ALL RIGHT SO THAT WASN’T REALLY FAIR TO HIM THEN.>>NO, THAT WASN’T. DO OVER. WHERE IS RUSTY IN THE RUNNING ORDER? 18th PLACE NOW. RACING THERE WITH JOHNNY BENSON, ALTHOUGH HE’S NOT RACING WITH BENSON. JOHNNY IS — WHERE IS JOHNNY? JOHNNY’S IN 21st. OKAY, HE IS RACING WITH HIM. BOBBY GORDON CAME IN BY HIMSELF. HE WAS FIFTH OR SIXTH WHEN HE CAME IN. MARTY?>>ROBBY GORDON, LOOK LIKE THAT’S ALL THEY HAD IN FUEL. LOOKS LIKE TEAMMATE MIGHT BE OUT OF FUEL AS WELL. HARVICK SAYS THAT’S AS FAR AS WE CAN GO ON FUEL, WE COULDN’T LAST ANY LONGER.>>OH, AND HARVICK IS OUT IN THE WORST POSSIBLE PLACE, JUST OUT PAST PIT ROAD, DOWN IN TURNS ONE AND TWO.>>OH, MAN.>>WE TALKED ABOUT THAT HAPPY HOUR, B.P., THAT’S NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO RUN OUT OF FUEL AT TALLEDEGA.>>HE’LL BE THREE LAPS DOWN BEFORE THIS DEAL’S OVER WITH.>>IF HE MAKES IT.>>THIS COULD BRING OUT A CAUTION. EVERYBODY ON THE EDGE OF A PIT STOP HERE IS GOING TO BE REALLY NERVOUS.>>I TELL YOU WHAT, HE MAY NOT MAKE IT. THAT’S A LONG WAYS. OVER A MILE –>>IF YOU NEED FUEL, YOU GOT TO COME IN. YOU CAN’T TAKE THE CHANCE ON DOING THIS YOURSELF BY HOPING YOU GET A CAUTION. SO JEFF GORDON IS COMING IN AND KURT BUSCH IS COMING IN, A COUPLE OF THE LEAD CARS. DAVE BURNS?>>JEFF GORDON IS IN, HE’LL TAKE ON LEFT-SIDE TIRES THIS TIME BECAUSE HE TOOK ON RIGHTS TWO TIMES IN A ROW. THEY’LL MAKE A CHASSIS ADJUSTMENT AS WELL FOR JEFF. HAVEN’T HEARD ANY REPORT ON WHAT THE CAR’S DOING. WE’LL HAVE TO CHECK, SEE WHY HE WANT CHASSIS ADJUSTMENT. BIG REVS, HE’S OUT OF HERE.>>KURT BUSCH, TAKING ON TIRES, HE WAS TIGHT, THEY FELT THAT WOULD MAKE THE CAR TIGHTER. HALF POUND OUT OF BOTH LEFT-SIDE TIRES. DALE JARRETT IN FRONT OF HIM IS HAPPY WITH THIS. LEFT-SIDE TIRES FOR BOTH THESE CARS AS THEY RACE OFF PIT ROAD.>>GORDON WINDS THAT THING UP, DOESN’T HE, ON THE PIT STOP?>>ONLY GET ABOUT 6,000 RPMs WHEN THEY LET THE CLUTCH — LET IT DOWN –>>AND HERE’S HARVICK.>>STILL COASTING, BUT BARELY.>>THE INSIDE OF TURN FOUR.>>HE’S DOING 40 MILES PER HOUR. BUT THE TELL-TAIL SIGN, 0 RPM.>>AND THAT’S ONE LAP DOWN HE’S GONE ALREADY.>>HE HEAR THE VOICE OF ROGER PENSKE ON THE RADIO. A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THIS TEAM MAYBE GOING TO DODGE. A SLIGHT AIR PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT.>>THIS SHOULD BE TONY STEWART’S SECOND TO LAST STOP. RIGHT-SIDE TIRES. NO ADJUSTMENTS FOR THE 20 CAR.>>BOBBY LABONTE ALSO IN.>>HE MADE IT.>>HE MADE IT. UNFORTUNATALLY FOR EVERYBODY INVOLVED, HE MADE IT.>>AND WE STAY ON THE GREEN. LEADERS ABOUT TO COMPLETE 300 MILES HERE AT TALLEDEGA.>>HERE COMES JUNIOR, MICHAEL WALTRIP. STEVE PARK, THE OTHER DEI CAR RIGHT BEHIND THEM.>>NOW THEY GOT TO GET THIS CAR NOT JUST FUELED, THEY GOT TO GET IT STARTED.>>YOU KNOW HE’S USED EVERY DROP OF FUEL –>>ALL RIGHT, MARTY, HOW ABOUT JUNIOR’S STOP?>>MICHAEL WALTRIP WAS WIGGLING THE CAR AS HE CAME DOWN PIT ROAD. THROW HANDS UP LIKE HE THOUGHT IT WAS OUT OF FUEL. BUT IT’S FINE, THEY’LL GET THE FUEL IN. DALE EARNHARDT JR., FUEL IN THIS CAR AS WELL, NO CHANGES FOR EITHER OF THESE DEI CARS.>>GOT TO GET THE ROLL ON.>>RICKY RUDD TOOK ON LEFT-SIDE TIRES. WAIVED VIGOROUSLY FOR A CREW MEMBER TO HAND HIM SOMETHING THROUGH THE WINDOW. IT WAS EITHER A COOL DRINK OR AN ICE PACK. IT’S WARM TODAY.>>DON’T WRECK ON THE APRON, GUYS.>>GOD, THAT’S –>>WE HAD THAT ONCE ALREADY TODAY. OKAY, THAT WAS THE PACE LINE.>>THE 30 CAR GOT GOOD FUEL MILEAGE FOR CHILDRESS, SAID TOUT STAYED OUT THERE A LONG TIME.>>AND THE 31 WAS IN BEFORE THAT.>>YEAH.>>NOW, WE’LL SEE HOW MANY PACKED IT TAKES FOR THE PACK TO COME COMPLETELY BACK TOGETHER. ALREADY ONE BIG KNOT OF CARS JUST BEHIND WHERE YOU’RE WATCHING JEFF GORDON AND RYAN NEWMAN. WE’LL SEE IF THEY CAN CATCH HIM DOWN, SINCE THEY’VE GOT A LITTLE MORE MOMENTUM. HERE COMES THE CAVALRY CHARGE OFF TWO AND FOUR. NOW THIS TIME IT DID SPLIT THE PACK UP, B.P.>>THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS SMALL FUEL TANK WAS ABOUT, WAS GETTING THESE CARS SPLIT OUT LIKE THAT. ALL RIGHT, MATT WHAT ARE THEY SAYING DOWN THE 29 PITS, NOT MUCH, HUH?>>THEY WERE GOING TO PIT WITH THE 97 CAR. WHEN HE RAN OUT, THEY WERE GOING TO GO WITH FOUR TIRES SINCE HE LAST SO MUCH TRACK POSITION, THEN HE DECIDED TO GO WITH LESS. KEVIN TOLD CREW CHIEF, GIL MARTIN, TAKE THAT COMPUTER THAT FIGURE THE FUEL MILE KNOWLEDGE, THROW ON IT THE GROUND, SMASH IT LET’S DO IT BY HAND.>>I’M SURE YOU CLEANED IT UP QUITE A BIT OVER WHAT HE REALLY SAID.>>– WHEN HE CAME THROUGH THE PICTURE?>>ALL RIGHT, WE’LL CHECK THE RUNNING ORDER. IT IS MICHAEL WALTRIP LEADING. DALE EARNHARDT JR. SECOND. KEVIN HARVICK, AFTER PROBLEMS, IS TWO LAPS DOWN IN 40th PLACE. JEFF GORDON IS THIRD. 0.9 TENTHS OF A SECOND BEHIND DALE EARNHARDT JR. TALK ABOUT THEIR DOMINANCE IN TALLEDEGA AND DAYTONA, THE DEI DUO.>>THEY DON’T DO TOO BAD ON THESE RESTRICTOR PLATE RACETRACKS, WHERE THE NASCAR INSTALLS AN ALUMINUM PLATE UNDER THE CARBURETOR THAT RESTRICTS THE HORSEPOWER FROM ABOUT 800 DOWN TO ABOUT 450 OR SO BECAUSE THEY JUST CAN’T LET THESE CARS RUN UNRESTRICTED, THEY’D BE 230 MILES PER HOUR.>>SECOND GROUP CAUGHT THE FIRST. NEWMAN, BUSCH, JARRETT, RIGHT UP THERE WITH DALE EARNHARDT JR. AND WALTRIP. AND WE’RE JUST PAST 300 MILES IN THE EA SPORTS 500 FROM TALLEDEGA. SPOS IN FORD TAURUS.B>>TWA JEFF GORDON, JUST A LAP AGO. NOW THE 11th DIFFERENT DRIVER TO BE OUT IN FRONT OF THIS RACE. IS THAT DEBRIS ON THE RACETRACK?>>YEAH, BUT WAY BELOW THE YELLOW LINE.>>THAT’S NOT AN ENGINE, ISN’T ITst?>>NO.>>I MEAN, THAT’S NOT ANY REASON TO PUT OUT THE CAUTION.>>IF YOU DRIVE DOWN THERE YOU’RE IN TROUBLE ANYWAY.>>YEAH. JEFF GORDON, FOR THE LEAD. THE MORE THESE GUYS UP FRONT RACE SIDE BY SIDE, THAT PACK BROKEN APART, IT’S ALL RIGHT BACK TOGETHER.>>IT’S USUALLY IN THE PASS THESE GUYS WILL RUN. BUT NOT TODAY. 29 CARS IN THE LEAD PACK, LEAD LAP CARS, PLUS A COUPLE OTHERS A LAP DOWN LIKE MARTIN, JOHNSON.>>THAT CAR ABOVE JEFF GORDON, JERRY NADEAU. JUST NOW WENT A LAP DOWN AFTER THE UNSCHEDULED PIT STOP.>>OH –>>ROB GORDON.>>TRYING TO HANG A HARD LEFT OFF TURN FOUR BUT COULDN’T GET ALONGSIDE TO MAKE THE MOVE. BY THE WAY, THE LEAD CHANGE NUMBERS THAT WE SHOWED YOU THERE A MINUTE AGO, WE’RE NOW UP TO 30 LEAD CHANGE. DALE JARRETT RIGHT UP THROUGH THE CENTER. NADEAU SLIDES OUT FROM THE MIDDLE OF THAT AND PROBABLY WISELY SO.>>DALE EARNHARDT JR. FOR A WHILE ON THE OUTSIDE. MARK MARTIN, JERRY NADEAU, OH –>>JARRETT TRYING TO PUSH WAY TO THE FRONT. ROBBY GORDON, BEHIND JEFF GORDON. ROBBY CUTS LOW.>>PUTS JEFF IN THE MIDDLE. AND GOING BACKWARDS.>>AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THAT EARLIER, THAT’S WHY YOU GOT TO BE LOOKING IN YOU’RE MIRROR. IF YOU LET A GUY GET UNDERNEATH YOU ON LEFT SIDE YOU GET PUT RIGHT WHERE YOU DON’T WANT TO BE RIGHT WHERE JEFF GORDON IS, IN THE MIDDLE LANE. ROBBY GORDON, OUT IN FRONT OF THE CINGULAR CAR. LET’S MAKE OUR CINGULAR CALL TO THE PITS. THINK JEFF GORDON’S CALLING FOR HELP?>>HE TOOK ON RIGHT-SIDE TIRES TWICE, MADE A LITTLE CHASSIS ADJUSTMENT. I GREW UP IN TRUCK RACING WHERE YOU TOOK TWO TIRES AT A TIME ON A CAUTION. IS IT TOUGH TO ADJUST THE CAR TODAY?>>IT REALLY IS TOUGH. THE GUYS HAVE BUILT A GREAT CAR FOR US.>>WHAT ABOUT PUTTING ON THAT CHASSIS ADJUSTMENT LAST TIME? WHAT WAS THAT FOR?>>IT’S GOING TO BE TIGHT. ALL RIGHT, WATCH IT THROUGH THE ENTIRE RUN AND SEE WHAT THEY GET. MARTY?>>THE LONGER THE RACE GOES IT GETS MORE INTENSE. HOW’S RYAN DOING?>>RYAN’S DOING GREAT. WE HAVEN’T HEARD A LOT FROM HIM. OUR CAR’S RUNNING PRETTY GOOD RIGHT NOW. WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE RACE.>>SAID HE WANTED TO BE MORE COMFORTABLE GOING IN MEANING HE WAS A LITTLE LOOSE IN?>>YEAH, BUT HE’S HANGING ON TO IT. WE’RE GOING TO TRY TO MAKE IT HERE, THROUGH TO THE NEXT STOP.>>REMEMBER, THESE GUYS FINISHED 43rd HERE IN THE SPRING.>>THIS IS ONE PLACE THE DRIVER DOESN’T DO A LOT OF TALKING TO EITHER THE DRIVER OR THE CREW CHIEF.>>JUST LISTENING?>>A LOT OF LISTENING.>>THE PACK IS STARTING TO TIGHTEN UP ARE THINGS ARE GETTING A LITTLE MORE INTENSE HERE AT TALLEDEGA. 65 LAPS TO GO. SAFF –[email protected]@ WAS,LE MARK. WRONG UNDER THE HOOD. HE ASKED HIM DOWN PIT LANE WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS. HE SAID IT’S JUST IN BIG, BIG TROUBLE. SMOKE UNDER THE 24 HOOD NOW.>>JEFF GORDON HAS BEEN GREAT OR NOT GREAT FOR ABOUT THE LAST MONTH. HE’S GOT THREE RUNS IN THE LAST SIX RACES. BUT OTHER RACES IN THAT TIME, HE HAD THE ENGINE PROBLEM AT RICHMOND WHERE HE FAILED TO FINISH, HE HAD THE CRASH AT DOVER WHERE HE FAILED TO FINISH. AND ANOTHER TITLE CONTENDER IN TROUBLE TODAY.>>UNFORTUNATELY IF THEY GET THE CAR FIXED, HE GETS BACK OUT AND IS RUNNING PERFECTLY, HE CAN ONLY PICK UP ONE SPOT. SAUNDERS, THE ONLY CAR OUT OF THE RACE.>>YEAH, HE’S OUT OF THE RACE. TOOK THE CAR TO THE GARAGE WITH SOME DAMAGE. SO WHAT ARE THE STANDINGS NOW? I DON’T SEE THAT 24 THERE.>>A BIG GAP FOR TONY STEWART. 157 POINTS BACK TO THE FIFTH SPOT. AND JEFF GORDON IS GOING BEHIND THE WALL. LOOKS LIKE TO THE GARAGE AREA.>>SO, GORDON BEHIND THE WALL. ONLY THE SECOND CAR BACK THERE. THE OTHER GORDON IS THE LEADER, TONY STEWART THOUGH, RUNNING SECOND. OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS, RUSTY WALLACE, IS BACK IN 17th PLACE. JIMMIE JOHNSON, 39th. MARK MARTIN, 31st. AND STERLING MARLIN IS OUT FOR THE SEASON, AS YOU KNOW, FROM THE HEADLINES OF THE WEEK WITH THAT NECK INJURY SUFFERED IN THE CRASH AT KANSAS. HEY, YOU KNOW, BENNY, WE TALKED ABOUT THE PIVOTAL RACE AND EVERYBODY USED THE PHRASE WILD CARD AND UNKNOWN. WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT WAS LOSING POINTS IN THE BIG WRECK, NOT THE STRANGE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED TODAY.>>I MEAN, MARTIN JOHNSON ON THE PACE LAP, BOTH HAD TO MAKE PIT STOPS, LOST A LAP. NOW JEFF GORDON WITH THE ENGINE PROBLEM.>>THEY JUST SAID, GET THE VALVE COVERS OFF. THEY BELIEVE THEY’VE DROPPED A CYLINDER.>>MARK MARTIN AND JIMMIE JOHNSON CRASH, BUT AT 55 MILES, 65 MILE PER HOUR.>>BEEN A LOT OF TALK IN THE GARAGE ABOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIP THAT NO ONE SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO TAKE CONTROL OF. NOBODY ABLE TO MAKE THE FORCEFUL STATEMENT TO TAKE COMMAND OF THE [email protected]@CNB 3 MES IM TALLEDEGA, ALABAMA. AN UAL DAY IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. AS WE CHECK OUR PEPSI RACE RECAP. THE FRONT ROW STARTERS, JIMMIE JOHNSON AND MARK MARTIN, TOP TWO IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, SOMETHING LOCKS UP THE STEERING IN MARK’S CAR. HE BUMPS INTO JOHNSON. MARK PITS ON THE PACE LAP. JOHNSON TAKES THE GREEN FLAG ON THE TRACK THEN COMES DOWN THE PIT ROAD ON THE FIRST LAP OF THE RACE WITH RIGHT FRONT DAMAGE. BOTH DRIVERS LAPS BEHIND. THEY HAVEN’T CAUGHT UP SINCE. JEFF GORDON, IN TRAFFIC, AFTER LEADING EARLIER IN THE RACE, FOR SOME 27 LAPS, SLOWS HIS CAR WITH ENGINE PROBLEMS. HE’S PUSHED BEHIND THE WALL JUST MOMENTS AGO. THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS, A BIG SHUFFLE HERE TODAY. DAVE BURNS IS WITH JEFF GORDON NOW.>>JEFF HAS STEPPED OUT THE CAR. JEFF, WHAT HAVE YOU DETERMINED SO FAR?>>LOST A RETAINER IN ONE OF THE VALVE SPRINGS AND DROPPED A VALVE. SO — AND PROBABLY SOME MORE THINGS WENT FROM THERE. PROBABLY THE FIRST THING TO GO. I FELT LOST POWER THERE DROPPED SOME RPMs. DIDN’T FEEL THE SAME. I WAS HAVING A LOT OF FUN, COULD I GO TO THE BACK AND COME RIGHT BACK TO THE FRONT. I WAS HAVING A BALL OUT THERE. MY GUYS ARE JUST CRANKING OUT GREAT STOPS. BUT THAT’S UNFORTUNATE. THAT’S BEEN OUR MISFORTUNE ALL YEAR LONG. WE CAN’T SEEM TO GET, YOU KNOW, BACK-TO-BACK GREAT FINISHES AND WINS AND KIND OF CARRY THE MOMENTUM. BIG BUMMER TODAY.>>ONE OF THE FEW CARS THAT COULD HEAD THE DEI CARS OUT THERE TODAY.>>JEFF GORDON WAS FOURTH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP COMING IN, 109 POINTS BEHIND LEADER JIMMIE JOHNSON. NOT GOING TO TAKE A BIG HIT, A HUGE HIT, WHERE JOHNSON AND MART REASON CONCERNED, BUT THAT ORANGE CAR, HE COULD TAKE A HUGE HIT WITH HIM.>>TALKING ABOUT THE 20 CAR, TONY STEWART, CURRENTLY IN SECOND SPOT.>>CAN’T SEEM TO DO ANYTHING WITH ROBBY GORDON. DOESN’T SEEM TO BE IN TOO MUCH OF A HURRY RIGHT NOW WHILE THIS THING IS STRUNG OUT SINGLE FILE. BEST THING IS TO STAY IN LINE.>>DOING WHAT THEY SHOULD BE DOING, ESPECIALLY CLOSE TO THE PIT STOPS.>>RICKY CRAVEN HAS BEEN IN, MIKE SKINNER, BRETT BODINE, ELLIOTT SADLER, CASEY ATWOOD, ALL THOSE CARS LAPS DOWN, THOSE LAST FOUR. AND BILL ELLIOTT, JEREMY MAYFIELD, KENNY WALLACE HAVE ALSO MADE PIT STOPS. THE NAMES WILL CHANGE TO YELLOW AS WE START THE SERIES OF STOPS.>>RICHARD CHILDRESS, NINE VICTORIES HERE AT THE TALLEDEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY. ROBBY GORDON, THE 31 CAR, RIDES FOR CHILDRESS. MATT KENSETH GIVES UP THAT THIRD SPOT TO COME ON TO PIT ROAD.>>I DON’T THINK HE CAN MAKE IT THE REST OF THE WAY.>>52 LAPS, I DON’T THINK SO.>>I KNOW HE CAN’T BECAUSE I ASKED –>>NO, THEY’RE VERY DISAPPOINTED. NOT GETTING GOOD FUEL MILEAGE. THEY’LL DEFINITELY NEED TO STOP AGAIN. RIGHT-SIDE TIRES AND FUEL. HE GOES AWAY. TO MATT.>>IN THE 48 AND 5 THE HENDRICK CARS ARE IN, WITH ANOTHER HENDRICK CORPORATE TEAMMATE RIGHT BEHIND. THEY’LL ALL STOP ONE MORE TIME. LEFT-SIDE TIRES FOR THE 48.>>JOE NEMECHEK NOT HAPPY WITH THE HANDLE OF HIS CAR. HE STALLS, TRY TO LEAVE. HE REFIRES.>>IS THAT THE FIRST FOUR-TIRE CHANGE WE’VE SEEN ALL DAY?>>YEAH, SURE IS.>>AND DAVE BLANEY’S OUT OF GAS AGAIN, THE SECOND TIME TODAY. IN THE YELLOW CAR.>>AND ABOUT THE SAME SPOT, REFIRED AGAIN.>>ROBBY GORDON, ONE OF 12 DRIVERS WHO TRADED THE LEAD 32 TIMES TODAY. WE WILL EASILY BREAK THE RECORD FOR MOST LEAD CHANGES THIS SEASON, WHICH IS 32. THAT WAS DONE BACK IN ATLANTA IN MARCH. TRYING TO FINISH THE GREEN FLAG PIT STOPS. LOOK AT THEM FANNING OUT EVERYWHERE.>>SEE THE 99 CAR, JEFF BURTON BACK THERE HE WAS SLOW ABOUT FIVE OR SIX LAPS AGO, LOOKED LIKE HE LOST AN ENGINE. SOMEONE TOLD US THE IGNITION BOX FAILED IN HIS CAR. THEY HAVE A BACKUP SYSTEM, THEY WENT TO THAT AND NOW CHARGING BACK UP TO THE FRONT.>>99 CAR SHOWING IN 12th PLACE LAST TIME BY. RACING WITH JOHN ANDRETTI THERE AND RUSTY WALLACE, YOU’RE ON BOARD WITH. PICK THIS OFF JEFF BURTON’S TEAM RADIO WHEN THOSE PROBLEMS OCCURRED.>>WE LOST THE BOX. THEN IT STARTED SMOKING AND SMELLING REAL FUNNY. I SWITCHED BACK TO BOX A AND IT SHUT OFF AGAIN. I WENT BACK TO BOX B AND IT QUIT SMOKING.>>MAY HAVE BIGGER PROBLEMS THAN JUST AN IGNITION BOX. HE’S RIGHT THERE IN THE THICK OF THE LEAD PACK. AND WORKING WITH HIS BROTHER WARD ONCE AGAIN. AN INTERESTING DYNAMIC THAT WHOLE SITUATION IS WITH JEFF CHIEF STODDARD.NG UP WITH CREW■■ ANYTIME YOU SPLIT UP, THERE’S HARD FEELINGS. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A COMPLETELY FRIENDLY STARTING. THEN HE ENDS UP BEING THE CREW CHIEF FOR JEFF’S BROTHER WARD.>>IS JUNIOR — CAN’T KEEP UP WITH THESE GUYS. WONDER WHAT’S GOING ON THERE.>>HE’S GETTING RIGHT-SIDE TIRES AND FUEL. KYLE PETTY DID BLISTER A RIGHT FRONT WITH 65 LAPS ON IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF RUSTY, THE 40 CAR OF McMURRAY. GOOD STOP FOR THOSE GUYS. GETTING BETTER ON THAT THEY’RE ON THEIR WAY.>>KUR BUSCH, MARK MARTIN, RYAN NEWMAN TRYING TO PUSH BACK TO THE FRONT. REMEMBER, MARK’S NOT ON THE LEAD LAP. HE’S THE FIRST CAR ONE LAP DOWN IN 27th PLACE.>>RYAN NEWMAN — SEE, THE HOSE DOWN NEWMAN’S CAR, I THINK THAT’S THE HOSE HE DRINKS OUT OF.>>KEN SCHRADER JUST TURNED HIS CAR IN BEHIND THE WALL.>>I THINK THAT’S THE HOSE HE HAS DOWN TO AER THIS MASS BOTTLE.>>SEE THOSE GAUGES RIGHT THERE, HE GOT ONE EYE ON THAT FUEL PRESSURE GAUGE RIGHT NOW AND THAT’S THAT ONE — IF THAT STARTS DIPPING, YOU KNOW IT’S NOT PICKING UP THE FUEL.>>CAUTION-FREE RACES AT TALLEDEGA, MAY 1997, APRIL 2001. NO ADDITION OF THIS RACE, THE EA SPORTS 500 AND ITS PREDECESSORS, NAMEWISE, HAS NEVER BEEN RUN WITHOUT THE YELLOW FLAG WAVING. AND I’M KNOCKING ON WOOD AS I SAY THAT, RIGHT NOW.>>LOOK LIKE BUSCH IS MAKE A LITTLE HEADWAY TRYING TO FIND HIS WAY TO THE FRONT. MARK WASN’T ABLE TO STAY WITH HIM THOUGH.>>NO.>>UP AGAINST HIM, PUSHED HIM. JEFF BURTON’S COMING IN. WE TALKED ABOUT HIS PROBLEMS EARLIER.>>IT’S A LONELY FEELING. ONE OTHER CAR ON PIT ROAD, THAT’S ALL THE WAY AT PIT END. BURTON’S GETTING RIGHT-SIDE TIRES. FUEL, GOES ON HIS WAY. HAD THAT WACKY PROBLEM WITH THE IGNITION BOX BUT SEEMS TO HAVE GONE AWAY, AT LEAST FOR NOW. WE’LL KEEP AN EYE ON IT.>>SEE, DALE EARNHARDT JR.’S BEEN ABLE TO GET — DALE JARRETT — A MOMENT AGO, I WONDERED WHY HE HAD FALLEN BACK. I GUESS HE WAS JUST RESTING A LITTLE BIT. NOW CHARGING TOWARDS THE FRONT.>>MAYBE HE WAS LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY LIKE A BLUE CAR.>>HE WAS UP IN FRONT OF HIM.>>THE BLUE CAR WITH THE BIG YELLOW LOGO ON THE HOOD?>>YEP, THAT’S THE ONE.>>ON BOARD TODD BODINE. HERE COMES MIKEY. BATTLE FOR THE FOURTH POSITION.>>ALL RIGHT, THE LEADERS OF THE START WILL MAKE PIT STOPS SHORTLY.>E O MYAVORITEISHES AT TALLEGA OF A TIM LTRIP’S LEADING, PAYING ATTENTION TO TERRY LABONTE. WATCH BOUSHARD, PICKING UP HIS FIRST NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES VICTORY. FROM PITTSBURGH, MASSACHUSETTS.>>WHILE WE WERE UP AT THE LOUDON RACE IN JULY, LOOKING VERY FIT THESE DAYS.>>FOR MORE ON WRANGLER FIVE STAR FINISHES, LOG ON TO NASCAR.COM.>>EVERYTHING’S RIGHT IN THE WORLD, MICHAEL WALTRIP AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. BACK IN FRONT. ROBBY GORDON, THE 31 CAR, HAS MADE A PIT STOP. A LITTLE GAS AND OIL. TIRES, NOT OIL. GAS AND TIRES.>>TODD BODINE, JOHN ANDRETTI, MIKE MARTIN CAME IN JUST A MOMENT AGO.>>I THOUGHT ROBBY WENT FURTHER ON FUEL LAST TIME.>>CHECK OUR NAPA FUEL SUMMARY. 34 LEAD CHANGES AMONG 12 DIFFERENT DRIVERS TODAY. EQUALING THE SEASON HIGH IN LEAD CHANGES SO FAR. NO CAUTIONS. THE TWO CARS OUT OF THE RACE, JAY SAUTER, WHO WENT OUT EARLY, AND JEFF GORDON, WHO JUST WENT OUT WITH AN ENGINE PROBLEM. I THINK I MENTIONED KEN SCHRADER WENT BEHIND THE WALL. THEY’VE GOT THE HOOD UP ON THAT CAR. MARK WAS JUST IN ON PIT ROAD.>>LOOKS VERY, VERY SLOW.>>LEFT REAR, LEFT REAR, 3900, 3900.>>WELL, QUESTION ASKED, QUESTION ANSWERED.>>DAVE?>>IT LOOKS LIKE LEFT-SIDE TIRES FOR MIKE MARTIN. MUST HAVE HAD ONE GOING DOWN OFF PIT ROAD NOW. LONG DAY FOR MARTIN.>>SO HOW MUCH LONGER CAN MICHAEL WALTRIP AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. RUN? WE’RE AT 41 TO GO NOW. THEY’RE PROBABLY ABOUT TO MAKE THE LAST PIT STOPS OF THIS RACE, IF WE DON’T SEE THE CAUTION FLAG.>>WELL, WE INTERCEPTED THIS ON MICHAEL WALTRIP’S RADIO –>>WE’LL GET IN LINE AND WORK TO THE MIDDLE. MAKE A NOTE OF THAT.>>MUST LIKE THE MIDDLE. “MAKE A NOTE.” DID YOU HEAR THAT, WORK TO THE MIDDLE? I THINK THESE GUYS WILL STOP ABOUT 150, AND THAT MEANS THEY GOT 38 LAPS TO GO. THEY’VE DONE THAT SO THEY CAN MAKE IT THE REST OF THE WAY.>>TONY’S WAVING HIS HAND. YOU SEE THE 20 CAR WILL HIT PIT LANE IN A SECOND. AND WHO COMES WITH HIM? GOT TO HAVE PEOPLE COME WITH YOU SO YOU BUILD BACK UP THE SPEED MORE QUICKLY IN THE DRAFT. IF YOU STOP BY YOURSELF, YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE GROUND.>>WELL, HE MIGHT BE IN TROUBLE.>>KURT BUSCH IS THE ONLY ONE COMING IN WITH HIM.>>TEAMMATE, BOBBY LABONTE, A LITTLE FURTHER BEHIND. 40 LAPS TO GO.>>AND THIS WILL BE TONY STEWART’S FINAL, SCHEDULED PIT STOP. CHRIS WOODWARD, THE ENGINE TUNER TOLD ME THEY ARE PLUS-ONE LAP, MEANING THEY CAN GO TO THE FINISH AND STILL HAVE ONE LAP LEFT IN THE TANK GETTING GREAT FUEL MILEAGE. WILL NOW TAKE ON LEFT-SIDE TIRES. CAN GO THE DISTANCE IF PATTERSON GETS EVERY OUNCE OF FUEL IN THERE, THEY PACKED IT FULL, HE’S GOING.>>RIGHT-SIDE TIRES FOR BUSCH. NOT, UNFORTUNATELY, LAST STOP OF THE DAY. THEY DO HAVE TO STOP ONE MORE TIME, THEY’RE ABOUT A LAP SHORT.>>BUT THOSE GO CARS, TWO CARS WORKING TOGETHER WILL GET UP SPEED MORE QUICKLY.>>AND I DON’T EXPECT TO SEE THE 97 COME IN WITH ONE LAP TO GO.>>NEWMAN GETS RUN OUT AS HE — ALL THESE CARS, LEAD LAP CARS, ARE ON PIT ROAD, THE DEI CAR, NEWMAN, JEFF GREEN, MARTY SNIDER GOES TO WORK.>>MICHAEL WALTRIP COMES IN, DOWN PIT ROAD. THE CAR IS EXCELLENT FOR MICHAEL. THEY’LL MAKE NO CHANGES TO THE CHASSIS. RYAN NEWMAN, TEAM TOLD HIM WE’RE ONE LAP SHORT. AS HE GOES OVER THE LINE. THEY’LL HAVE TO PUSH HIM BACK. THAT WILL HURT. ON THE FRONT END, DALE EARNHARDT JR. THEY SAY THE CAR IS NOT AS DOMINANT, WILL HAVE TO BEAT THEM ON PIT ROAD. LONG STOP FOR MICHAEL WALTRIP’S BUNCH. HAVE TO PUSH THE CAR BACKWARD. NOW THEY GET IT GOING. THERE GOES WALTRIP. AND THERE PROBABLY WENT THE RACE.>>THE CAR ROLLED OFF THE JACK, THAT WAS THE PROBLEM.>>DIDN’T HE HAVE THAT PROBLEM A RACE OR TWO AGO?>>BUSCH SERIES RACE AT KANSAS LAST WEEK.>>OKAY, YEAH.>>AND I CAN’T TELL IF THE CAR WAS IN GEAR AND IT ROLLED OFF?>>THE REASON THEY HAD TO PUSH IT BACK, HE COULDN’T JUST LEAVE, IT WAS SETTING ON THE AIR HOSE. YOU SEE, THE AIR HOSE IS UNDER THE CAR AND YOU CANNOT RUN OVER THE AIR HOSE AS YOU LEAVE. THEY’VE GOT TO ROLL IT BACK, GET IT OFF THE HOSE. AS RYAN NEWMAN — ALTHOUGH HE HAD PROBLEMS, HE’S ABLE TO GET AWAY BEFORE MICHAEL WALTRIP.>>MICHAEL’S GOT HIS HAND OUT THE WINDOW. MAN, HE IS BY HIMSELF BACK THERE ISN’T HE?>>YEAH.>>IF THEY’RE CHECKING TO SEE IF THE WINDO NET IS UP ON HIS CAR. HE MIGHT HAVE TO COME BACK TO PIT ROW.>>WELL, I SAW SOMETHING ON THE BACK STRETCH. IT LOOKS LIKE HAND OUT THE WINDOW. HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN TRYING TO HOLD THE WINDOW NET UP. IT’S CERTAINLY IN THE CAR NOW. MARTY?>>I DO SEE THE WINDOW NET IS UP ON MICHAEL WALTRIP’S CAR. I DON’T THINK THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED. THEY MAY HAVE SEEN HAND COMING OUT THE WINDOW. OBVIOUSLY, A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT FOR THIS TEAM. THEY’LL NEED SOME HELP IF THEY ARE INDEED GOING TO WIN THIS RACE. THE WINDOW NET DEFINITELY UP. WILL NOT HAVE TO BRING HIM IN FOR A PENALTY.>>WINDOW NET WAS CATCHING AIR.>>IT LOOKED A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.>>I WONDER IF HE’S HOLDING IT. HOPING FOR A CAUTION.>>IT’S HARD TO LATCH THOSE NETS WHEN YOU’RE INSIDE THE CAR.>>>WELL,OU K WVEEEN CAIO-FRERA, WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF GIVE AND TAKE. WE’RE GETTING DOWN TO WHERE IT’S ALL GOING TO BE TAKE. NOT MUCH GIVING IN THE NEXT 32 LAPS OR SO.>>EVERYBODY’S HAD ENOUGH WITH PATIENCE. NOW IT’S GOING TO BE WHATEVER YOU CAN GET.>>THAT’S WHEN THE ACCIDENTS GENERALLY TEND TO HAPPEN. THE BIG ONE, THE BIG WRECK, USUALLY HAPPENS VERY LATE IN THE RACE.>>WHEN EVERYBODY’S PATIENCE IS JUST WORN TO A FRAZZLE.>>B.P.? ALL RIGHT, FIRST, WE CHECK THE NO BULL 5 DRIVERS. THE GUYS WHO HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN THE MILLION DOLLARS. DEBBY POLLSTON OF CONNECTICUT, YOU MIGHT BE FEELING GOOD RIGHT NOW. REMEMBER YOU GAVE THE GOLDEN BENNY TO THE BUNCH? I DON’T THINK THEY’LL BE CELEBRATING TOMORROW MORNING. KEN SCHRADER, WE TALKED ABOUT THE VALVE SPRING PROBLEM, HE’S OUT. JEFF GORDON IS OUT, NOW JOE NEMECHEK HAS JUST GONE BEHIND THE WALL, ENGINE PROBLEMS.>>MAN, OH, MAN. TELL THEM GUYS I’M SORRY.>>BELIEVE ME, NEXT WEEK, WHEN THEY SEE YOU, THEY’LL BE TELLING YOU THEY WOULD LIKE YOUR CONDOLENCES. JOE NEMECHEK, THE LATEST RETIREE.>>DALE EARNHARDT JR. LEADS, TONY STEWART IS SECOND. RUDD THIRD. RUSTY WALLACE IS FIFTH.>>I’M PRETTY SURE DALE EARNHARDT JR. CAN GO THE REST OF THE WAY. WE HEARD A REPORT THAT TONY STEWART CAN GOT REST OF THE WAY. THINK RUDD PITTED AT THE SAME TIME AS JUNIOR. LOOKS LIKE HE MIGHT BE GOOD TO GO. KURT BUSCH, CAN THOSE GUYS — MATT, THE 20 CAN MAKE IT RIGHT?>>YES, HE CAN. BACK IN DOVER, WE AIRED A FEATURE CALLED SIZING UP THE COMPETITION. DRIVERS TALKED ABOUT DRIVERS THEY HAVE CONFIDENCE RACING WITH THAT’S WHAT STEWART HAS IN DALE EARNHARDT JR. USUALLY AT THE PLATE TRACKS, THEY DRAFT A LOT TOGETHER. TONY DOESN’T HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE GUYS FARM ON BACK. HE’S TOLD HIS SPOTTER TO TELL THE 28, THE 96, TO STAY IN LINE SO HE CAN PROTECT THE BOTTOM SO THEY DON’T TRY TO MICK A RUN AND SHUFFLE US ON BACK.>>YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE 28 MUCH.>>NO.>>BECAUSE HE’S ABOUT THE SMOOTHEST GUY OUT THERE, RICKY RUDD. BUT THERE’S ONE THING ABOUT THESE RACING DEALS — THEY’RE MADE TO BE BROKEN.>>THEY HAVE A WAY OF FALLING APART.>>SPEAKING OF FALLING APART, THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 28 THIS YEAR, THE TEAM DISBANDING, RICKY RUDD GOING ELSEWHERE. THEY’VE HAD GREAT PIT STOPS TODAY. AFTER THE LAST PIT STOP, TOOK ON TWO RIGHT-FRONT TIRE, HAD A FAST PIT STOP, HE CONGRATULATED THE CREW ON THE RADIO. EVERYTHING FRIENDLY STILL BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY CAN STILL WIN.>>THE GUY THAT MAY SHAKE THIS UP IS THE 97 CAR. I KNOW HE DOES NOT WANT TO STAY IN LINE, HE WANTS TO GET TO THE FRONT.>>AND HERE HE GOES. LOOKING TO THE OUTSIDE OF RICKY RUDD FOR THIRD. RUSTY WALLACE IS PUSHING HIM THERE.>>AND RUSTY WALLACE HAS THE DEI CAR STEVE PARK BEHIND HIM.>>KURT BUSCH HAS FINISHED THIRD IN TWO OF THREE CAREER TRIES AT TALLEDEGA. HE RUNS THIS PLACE VERY, VERY WELL.>>JEFF BURTON DRIVES TO THE INSIDE, TRY TOSS TAKE A SPOT AWAY FROM RUSTY WALLACE. SEE IF THAT OUTSIDE LINE CAN RUN WELL ENOUGH TO GET INSIDE DALE EARNHARDT JR.>>TENSION GROWING, AS WE CLOSE IN ON THE FINISH. 27 TO GO. T TLEGA, [email protected] BEHIND HIM, LOOMING THE FORD OF KURT BUSCH. ALLEN?>>DON’T FORGET ABOUT RICKY RUDD IN THE 28 CAR.>>LET’S MENTION TODD BODINE, SECOND IN LINE BEHIND DALE EARNHARDT JR. HE IS NOW THE FIRST CAR, ONE LAP DOWN, DIPPED BELOW THE YELLOW LINE, HAD TO MAKE A STOP AND GO PENALTY ON PIT ROAD. THE OUT OF BOUNDS RULE. IT’S GETTING TENSE.>>YES.>>23 LAPS TO GO. NOW 22 HERE AT TALLEDEGA. COMING UP ON THE FINAL 50 MILES. LEAD LAP, 23 CARS, 20 OF THEM IN THIS LEAD DRAFT, ALONG WITH SOME LAP MACHINES. SOME WILL HAVE TO STOP FOR FUEL IF WE DON’T GET A CAUTION. THE MORE INTENSE THE RACING FOR POSITION GETS, THE HIGHER THE LIKELIHOOD THE BIG ONE MAY YET STILL HAPPEN. CAUTION-FREE SO FAR TODAY. 35 LEAD CHANGES AMONG 12 DRIVERS.>>SOME OF THESE CARS MIGHT RUN OUT OF FUEL TRYING TO MAKE THAT EXTRA LAP OR TWO.>>JUST ON PIT ROAD, MAYFIELD, SPENCER AND BODINE. AND TERRY LABONTE HAS JUST TAKEN HIS CAR TO THE GARAGE. THAT IS A HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CAR. MATT DO I HEAR JIMMIE JOHNSON’S ALSO STRUGGLING?>>ALLEN, THE HITS KEEP RIGHT ON COMING FOR ROOKIE JIMMIE JOHNSON. REMEMBER, HE HAD THE OPENING ACCIDENT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RACE? NOW HE REPORTS TO CREW CHIEF KNAUS, I’M DOWN ON SEVEN CYLINDERS AND IT’S GETTING WORSE. A BAD DAY FOR THE HENDRICK DEPARTMENT.>>LAST WEEK, SO GREAT FOR ALL THOSE GUYS AT HENDRICK AND THE ENGINE DEPARTMENT. TODAY SO FAR A DISASTER. JIMMIE JOHNSON’S BEEN WARNED THEY’RE NOT MEETING THE MINIMUM SPEED. ONLY ANOTHER LAP TO PICK UP THAT AND HE’LL BE SENT TO THE GARAGE. NASCAR WINSTON CUP CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS, GOING TO TAKE A SHUFFLE TODAY. TONY STEWART, RUNNING SECOND. ULD COME OUT OF HERE WITH THE LEAD. BUT WE’VE STILL GOT A LONG WAY TO GO. RUSTY WALLACE, AROUND THE LAP CAR OF TODD BODINE, TRYING TO PASS TONY STEWART FOR SECOND. ALL RIGHT, LAST COMMERCIAL BREAK BEFORE THE CHECKERED FLAG, IF THE RACE STAYS GREEN. LET’S TAKE IT NOW, COME BACK FOR LLEGASPEE IN WNO ITS FINAL 1 ONIPTURE’S TEN A TUMBLE DAY WITH DRIVERS HAVING PROBLEMS. STARTING WITH THE TOP TWO IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE PACE LAP, JIMMIE JOHNSON AND MARK MARTIN. NOW DALE EARNHARDT JR. TRYING TO WIN A THIRD STRAIGHT TALLEDEGA RACE, LEAVING TONY STEWART AND RICKY RUDD AND SOME PEOPLE NEEDING TO START FOR FUEL ONCE MORE BEFORE THE CHECKERS. DON’T BELIEVE THE FRONT TWO DO. BOTH SAY THEY’RE GOOD TO GO TO THE FINISH. SOME OF THE GUYS BEHIND THEM –>>IT’S GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT IFFY.>>SOME GUYS THINK THEY CAN MAKE IT MIGHT RUN OUT OF FUEL.>>LIKE YOU JUST SAID IF THEY’RE A LAP SHORT, THEY’RE GOING TO STAY OUT.>>THEY’VE GOT TO.>>AND THEY’LL BE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS IF THEY RUN OUT, WHICH IS GOING TO BE PRETTY TENSE.>>DALE EARNHARDT JR. TRYING TO BECOME ONLY THE SECOND MAN EVER TO WIN THREE STRAIGHT TALLEDEGA RACES. THE OTHER, BAKER, 19757, HE SWEPT THE SEASON AND WON THE OPENING RACE ALSO. NOBODY ELSE WON THREE RACES HERE. INCLUDING HIS FATHER, NEVER WON THREE STRAIGHT.>>SEE JOHN ANDRETTI BACK THERE, IN SEVENTH POSITION IN THE CHEERIO’S DODGE, HANGING IN THERE.>>I TELL YOU WHO HAS DONE A GREAT JOB HANGING WITH THE GROUP ALL DAY, AT THE VERY END OF THAT LEAD PACK YOU’LL SEE A WHITE CAR THE 49, STACY COMPTON. THIS IS THE RACING TEAM TRYING TO GET A FOOTHOLD. STACY JUMPING IN THE CAR THIS WEEKEND. 16 LEAD LAP CARS IN THAT PACK. HE’S AMONG THEM, IN THE LEAD DRAFT.>>14th, THAT LAST TIME BY.>>A GREAT JOB FOR A TEAM THAT, LIKE I SAID, JUST TRY TO GET A FOOTHOLD, AND ESTABLISH THEMSELVES IN THIS SPORT.>>TOTAL OF 23 CARS ON THE LEAD LAP. REMEMBER MICHAEL WALTRIP, THE PIT ROAD PROBLEM LAST PIT STOP, BROUGHT HIM BACK, HE’S IN 16th PLACE. MATT KENSETH AND CRAVEN, ELLIOTT SPENCER, MAYFIELD, THEY’VE ALREADY MADE THEIR PIT STOPS. IT’S DROPPED THEM A LITTLE BIT FURTHER BEHIND. THEN YOU HAVE BOBBY LABONTE IN 23rd. HI CAR STALLED LAST PIT STOP. HERE’S RUSTY, BILL.>>THIS IS JUST A SPLASH, 55 RACES, SINCE RUSTY WALLACE HAS GONE TO VICTORY LANE, LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE 56. GOOD CAR, JUST DIDN’T GET THE FUEL MILEAGE THEY WANTED.>>SAME STORY FOR ROBBY GORDON, DIDN’T GET THE FUEL MILEAGE. KEVIN HAMLIN ON THE RADIO, THAT’S ALL THE FUEL THEY NEEDED. THREE SECOND IT IS, MIGHT HAVE COST THEM THE RACE. THEY LED A LOT TODAY AND HAD A GREAT CAR.>>HOW MANY MORE OF THIS LEAD PACK ARE GOING TO HAVE TO STOP FOUR FUEL?>>YOU KNOW, THE STRANGE THING IS RYAN NEWMAN, RUSTY WALLACE LOST HIS TEAMMATE HAVE RUN MORE LAPS. YOU WOULD THINK THEY’D BE EXACTLY THE SAME THING. BOTH HAVE THE SAME ENGINES, LIPINSKI ENGINES. HERE HE’S STILL ON THE RACETRACK.>>THAT’S WHY THEY’RE SCRATCHING THEIR HEAD. VERY DISAPPOINTED, HAPPY FOR HIM GETTING THAT MILEAGE, BUT CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHY THEY AREN’T GETTING IT.>>THESE GUYS HAVE TO GANG UP ON THE 8 CAR.>>SPEAKING OF RYAN NEWMAN, MARTY?>>TALKING ABOUT THE FUEL MILEAGE SITUATION FOR RYAN, ABOUT MIDWAY, HIS CREW CHIEF MATT BORLAND SAID START CONSERVING NOW. THEY THINK THEY’RE GOING TO TRY TO MAKE IT ALL THE WAY. ONE OF THE REASONS HE’S DROPPED BACK A LITTLE, SAVING AN MUCH FUEL AS HE CAN. BEEN DOING IT FOR LAMB HALF THE RACE.>>DAVE’S GOT RICKY RUDD — I WOULD LIKE TO GET HIM TO TELL US WHETHER THAT 28 CAR’S GOING TO STOP BETWEEN NOW AND THE FINISH OR NOT, FIND OUT IF HE’LL BE IN THE MIX OF THINGS.>>JIMMIE JOHNSON DOWN LOW ON THE RACETRACK. AS THOSE CARS GO BY. DAVE WHAT ABOUT RICKY RUDD?>>I WOULD BE HAPPY TO UPDATE YOU ON THAT. HE CAN GO THE REST OF THE WAY. BEFORE THEY PITTED, THEY WERE DISCUSSING FUEL. McSWAIN, FUEL CHIEF, TOLD HIM YOU CAN GO THE AMOUNT OF LAPS WE WENT LAST TIME, NO PROBLEM. HE CAN GO TO THE END WITH THE DEI CARS.>>OKAY.>>THAT MUST MEAN JARRETT CAN, AS WELL.>>I THINK JARRETT PITTED A LAP OR TWO BEFORE THOSE GUYS.>>JUST KIND OF LOOKING THROUGH THIS LEAD GROUP HERE THE GUYS THAT WILL RUN TO THE FINISH ON FUEL TO SEE WHAT KIND OF TEAMMATES OR MANUFACTURER, PARTNERS, ANYTHING MIGHT BE OUT THERE. PRETTY WIDE OPEN NOW. YOU’VE GOT THE BURDEN BROTHERS, RUNNING FOURTH AND FIFTH. BUT YOU’VE GOT DALE EARNHARDT JR. IN A CHEVY LEADING, STEWART IN A PONTIAC SECOND, THE FORD THIRD, THEN A ROUSH CAR, KURT BUSCH, IN SIXTH. HE COULD HELP HIS TEAMMATE JEFF IN THEORY. AND THEN JOHN ANDRETTI AND A DODGE IN SEVENTH. WE DON’T HAVE THE DEI PAIRING UP THERE OR ANY OF THAT KIND OF THING.>>THIS COULD BE INTERESTING.>>THAT’S WHY I THINK YOU’VE GOT ME SPOTTERS UP THERE, DRIVERS, EVERYBODY UP THERE AT LEAST MAKING AN EFFORT TO WHEEL AND DEAL ON HOW THEY’LL GET BY THAT 8 CAR IF THEY CAN. I MEAN, TONY STEWART PROBABLY ASKING THE 28 CARS IF THEY’LL GO WITH ME, IF I PULL OUT.>>ALL RIGHT, HERE COMES SOME CARS ON TO PIT ROAD.>>SPEAKS OF THE BURTON BROTHERS. JEFF, WARD, COMING IN.>>OH –>>WHAT WAS THAT?>>MAN, OH, MAN. TODD BODINE, THE 26 CAR, WENT COMPLETELY BELOW THAT YELLOW LINE, LOOKED LIKE HE WAS ON A DIRT TRACK THERE FOR A MOMENT. OH, BABY.>>GLOVE SAVE AND A BEAUTY?>>GLOVE SAVE AND A BEAUTY.>>REMEMBER, TODD HAD A PENALTY FOR GOING BELOW THE BACKSTRETCH EARLIER.>>HE WAS BLOAT YELLOW LINE. HE MAY HAVE BEEN FORCED DOWN THERE. I DON’T KNOW HE WAS TRYING TO PASS SOMEONE. HE WAS BELOW THE YELLOW LINE.>>CHECK IT OUT, TODD BODINE, JUST A LAP AGO.>>THERE YOU SEE HE WAS TRYING TO GET –>>OH, HE GOT TURNED, DIDN’T HE?>>JEFF GREEN.>>TODD STARTED COMING DOWN AND JEFF WAS NOT GOING TO LIFT.>>LISTEN TO THIS, WATCH –>>GREAT SAVE.>>MAN, THAT WAS UNBELIEVABLE.>>YEAH, YOU ARE DOING — KEEP DIGGING, YOU’RE DOING REAL GOOD, THE SPOTTER FOR TODD BODINE.>>YEAH, THAT’S OUR AUTOTRADER.COM MOVE OF THE RACE. GOT TO BE. GLOVE SAVE AND A BEAUTY AND TIES IT OFF FOR THE FACE-OFF. OUR CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS STARTING THE DAY, GOING BEHIND THE WALL.>>BENNY, IF THESE GUYS ARE GOING TO DO SOMETHING, THEY CAN’T WAIT FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF LAPS. WE ALWAYS SEE THAT. I THINK THEY GOT TO START DOING IT NOW, IF THEY CAN.>>I DON’T KNOW IF THEY CAN.>>YOU KNOW, THE THING IS THE MORE CARS THAT WERE IN THAT LEAD PACK, THE MORE OPPORTUNITIES THERE WOULD BE TO PASS JUNIOR. THE MORE THESE PEOPLE STOP FOR FUEL, THE MORE GET CUT OUT OF THE HERD –>>RIGHT, THE TOUGHER IT WILL BE.>>11 RACES AT TALLEDEGA SETTLED BY A LAST LAP PASS.>>THEY’VE BEEN COMING DOWN HERE SINCE 1969. SO IT’S NOT 12 RACES.>>CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS, AS WE CLOSE IN ON THE FINISH WITH TONY STEWART RUNNING SECOND. MARK MARTIN RUNNING 30th. RYAN NEWMAN’S IN SEVENTH. RUSTY WALLACE IS IN 15th.>>RYAN NEWMAN UP TO FOURTH. WE TALKED ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON BEING THE BESTEST ROOKIE, TRYING TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. LET’S DON’T COUNT NEWMAN OUT YET.>>MAYBE ANOTHER MILLION-DOLLAR DAY FOR DALE EARNHARDT JR. EIGHT LAPS AWAY FROM THE CHECKERED FLAG, ABOUT TO BE SEVEN AT TALLEDEGA.>>JOHN ANDRETTI HAD TO MAKE A PIT STOP, GET A FLASH OF FUEL.>>JUNIOR’S RUNNING THAT LOW LINE NOW, NOT GOING TO LET ANYBODY GET UNDERNEATH HIM IF HE CAN PROTECT IT.>>IN PROTECTION MODE.>>DOWN THE BACK STRAIGHTAWAY ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE RACETRACK.>>THEN WE SEE TONY BACK UP THERE. HE WAS BACKING UP TO TO SEE IF HE COULD GET A RUN ON JUNIOR DOWN THE STRAIGHTAWAY. IF YOU STAY NEXT TO THE BUMPER, YOU’LL NEVER GET A RUN. YOU GOT TO DROP BACK AND AS YOU COME OFF THE STRAIGHTAWAY, TRY TO GET THAT RUN.>>YOU THINK IF THEY ALL PULLED OUT ON JUNIOR, THEY COULD HAVE GOT BY? RIGHT NOW YOU GOT SEVEN CARS, IF THEY ALL PULLED UP TO THE RIGHT –>>BUT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IT I MEAN 8 CAR LOOKS STRONG.>>YOU WANT SEVEN GUYS TO WORK TOGETHER, DO THE SAME THING?>>WHAT AM I THINKING?>>EVEN IF TONY STEWART FINISHES SECOND TODAY, HE’LL HAVE TO CONSIDER THAT A VICTORY OF SORT BECAUSE IN THIS SEASON, THE RESTRICTOR PLATE RACES HAVE BEEN HIS ACHILLES HEEL. OF THE SIX RACES STEWART HAS FAILED TO FINISH THIS SEASON, THREE OF THEM HAVE BEEN THE THREE PREVIOUS RESTRICTOR PLATE RACES.>>I BELIEVE I SAID AT THE STARTING LINEUP, HIS AVERAGE FINISH IS LIKE 37th ON RESTRICTOR PLATE RACES.>>ENGINE FAIL I FAILURE AT THE DAYTONA 500, CRASHED AT TALLEDEGA IN APRIL AND AT DAYTONA IN JULY.>>YEAH, HE’S NOT A BIG FAN OF THESE DEALS. I WAS DOWN HERE, HE AND HUT STRICKLIN WERE TALKING. HE SAID, YOU KNOW THIS IS THE ONE PLACE, IF I COULD JUST TAKE THE GREEN, COME IN, AND LET YOU GUYS TAKE THE RACE, I WOULD DO IT. JUST THIS ONE PLACE.>>RANKS OF POTENTIAL WINNERS, CAUTION-FREE THROUGHOUT THE RACE. AND WE’RE DOWN TO NOW FIVE LAPS TO GO.>>YOU KNOW, WE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEING A BIG RACE AS FAR AS THE POINTS IS CONCERNED. AND WE ALL THOUGHT — WE THINK ABOUT THE CRASH AND THAT WAS OBVIOUSLY WHY WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IT. THIS PLACE IS HARD ON ENGINES. AS THE FOLKS AT HENDRICKS FOUND OUT TODAY. THEY DO ALL KINDS OF TRICK THINGS. TODAY, THOSE TRICKS RANDY AND THEM GUYS TRIED BACK-FIRED ON THEM.>>THE TRICKS OR TREATS?>>THERE WAS DEFINITELY NO TREAT.>>WE GOT RID OF THAT BIG 30-CAR PACK, ANYWAY. I DON’T KNOW WITH THE FUEL CELL DEAL –>>KURT BUSCH LOOKED LIKE HE HAD SUCH A GREAT CAR EARLIER. BUT HE HASN’T SHOWN THE ABILITY — BACK WHERE HE IS IN LINE, HE’S GOT TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN NOW. YOU CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THREE LAPS TO GO YOU GOT TO GO.>>YEAH.>>JIMMIE JOHNSON IS OUT, DAVE.>>HE IS BEHIND THE WALL. HE JUST CLIMBED OUT OF THE CAR. YOU HEARD ABOUT THE OTHER CARS GOING AWAY. DID YOU TRY TO ADJUST YOUR DRIVING STYLE?>>TO BE HONEST, I DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE. WHEN I BROKE, I LOOKED UP AND SAW THE 5 ON THE APRON. ONE OF THOSE DEALS. DON’T KNOW WHAT WRONG. WE HAD GREAT POWER, COMPETITIVE ALL DAY LONG. OUR DAY WAS CRAZY FROM THE GET-GO. I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BEGINNING. IT’S BEEN A WILD DAY. BUT HEY, WHAT THE HECK, WHOEVER’S BEEN LEADING HAVE HAS NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS. I’M GLAD WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT VOODOO DOLL ON OUR BACK, SO WE’LL JUST GO ON, SEE WHAT HAPPENS.>>HE WAS THE POINTS LEADER COMING IN.>>JIMMIE JOHNSON OUT. JOINING HIS TEAMMATE, PLUS THE HENDRICK SUPPLIED CARS OF BENZP, BENSON AND SCHRADER.>>YOU SAW THE ALLTEL CAR TRY TO MAKE A PASS AND ALL IT DID WAS TRY TO COST HIM A SPOT. NOW HE’S BOUGHT DALE JARRETT, SOME OTHER CARS INTO THE MIX. JARRETT’S SPOT, TWO LAPS BEFORE DALE EARNHARDT JR. AND RUDD.>>THEY’RE HOLDING THEIR BREATH.>>AREN’T THEY, MARTY?>>INDEED, B.P. THEY’RE GOING TO COME DOWN PIT ROAD, THIS TIME, RADIOS TO TODD PARROTT. ARE WE GOING TO TRY TO STRETCH THE FEW FUEL? HE SAID NO, SO THEY ARE INDEED SHORT. HERE COMES DALE JARRETT NOW.>>HERE COMES DALE EARNHARDT JR. ACROSS THE STRIKE TWO LAPS TO GO. NEXT TIME, THE WHITE FLAG FLIES.>>I THINK HE’S BEEN TRYING TO SHOW –>>ABOUT TEN LAPS. BUT THAT’S IT WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET.>>JEFF GREEN TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN, OUTSIDE OF STEVE PARK, AND TAKE THE FIFTH SPOT. FARTHEST FORWARD OF THE RICHARD CHILDRESS CARS.>>YEAH, I THINK A LITTLE BIT — COUPLE LAPS OF TONY, BACKED UP ONE AND TWO, TRYING TO GET THAT RUN PEP THINK HE WAS TRYING TO SEE WHAT HE HAD. AND I GUESS WE ASSUME NOT MUCH, OR NOT MUCH.>>DALE EARNHARDT JR. WILL HAVE LED 55 LAPS TODAY AT THE START/FINISH LINE. 143,000 ON THEIR FEET AT TALLEDEGA AS THE WHITE FLAG FLIES. FINAL LAP OF THE EA SPORTS 500.>>SPOTTER SAYS KEEP ON IT THE BOTTOM. JUNIOR WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO COMPLY. BEHIND HIM, STEVE PARKING CHALLENGED BY NEWMAN FOR THE SPOT. THE TOP FIVE SINGLE FILE, BUSCH LOOKING FOR THIRD, CAN’T DO IT. RICKY RUDD WITH A BRIEF PEEK. KURT BUSCH TRYING TO FIND ENOUGH MUSTER TO RUN WITH HIM. HIS FATHER WON HERE TEN TIMES AND NOW DALE EARNHARDT JR.’S GOING TO BECOME ONLY THE SECOND MAN IN THIS TRACK’S HISTORY TO SCORE THREE STRAIGHT WINS AT TALLEDEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY. DALE EARNHARDT JR., THE CHECKERED FLAG, HE WINS THE EA SPORTS 500.>>TWO VICTORIES THIS SEASON FOR DALE EARNHARDT JR. TALLEDEGA AND TALLEDEGA. AND A NEW MILLIONAIRE HAS JOINED THE RANKS OF THE AMERICAN WEALTHY. DEBBY OF MANCHESTER, CONNECTICUT HAS WON THE MILLION DOLLARS AS FAN AND DALE EARNHARDT JR. HAS PICKED UP THE MILLION-DOLLAR BONUS.>>GREAT JOB. DON’T FORGET –>>AND THE PARADE BEGINS. DALE EARNHARDT JR. LED 56 OF THE 188 LAPS. TO PICK UP THE VICTORY, HIS SEVENTH CAREER WIN FOR EARNHARDT JR. AND THE BUD TEAM.>>TONY OOURY SR. GETS A HIGH FIVE. DALE EARNHARDT SENIOR DID THAT IN ’99 AND 2002. DALE EARNHARDT JR. DOES THE SAME THING. YOU SAID YOU HAD TO BEAT THEM ON FUEL AND PIT STRATEGY AND YOU DID IT.>>YEAH, WE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THE NEW FUEL CELL DEAL WOULD BRING US. FIGURED OUT WHAT WE DID YESTERDAY — WE KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE TIGHT. IF WE COULD JUST GET THAT FIRST RUN IN THERE WE COULD MAKE IT. JUST HOPING THE THREE PACE LAPS DIDN’T MESS US UP. KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE CLOSE. SHOULD RUN OUT BEHIND THIS TRUCK BECAUSE IT’S DEFINITELY OUT OF GAS. ALL THEM GUYS IN THE SHOP, WE HAD THEM WORRIED YESTERDAY. WE CALLED THEM UP, CONSIDER CHANGING THE ENGINE IN THIS CAR BECAUSE WE WAS GETTING BEAT IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY. I GUESS WE NEED TO APOLOGIZE BECAUSE EVERY CAR BEAT US IN PRACTICE YESTERDAY IS SITTING OVER IN THE GARAGE. DEI GUYS DIDN’T LET US DOWN YET.>>WE TALKED ABOUT THAT EARLIER IN THE RACE, THEY’RE GOING TO WIN THE DAY AT TALLEDEGA.>>SOME OF THAT FAKE MONEY BEING SPREAD IN FRONT OF DALE EARNHARDT JR.>>THE SEVENTH STRAIGHT WIN FOR CHEVROLET AT TALLEDEGA. DALE EARNHARDT JR., YOUR WINNER TODAY. CHEVY CONGRATULATIONS DALE. WILL TELL YOU THE ONLY THING THAT COMES CLOSE TO MONTE CARLO’S REPUTATION ON THE TRACK IS ITS REPUTATION ON THE STREET. MORE CHAMPIONS DEPEND ON CHEVY. SPRINKLING A LITTLE MONEY AROUND THE RACETRACK. DALE EARNHARDT JR. WILL PROBABLY GET SPRINKLED WITH A LITTLE BEER IN VICTORY LANE. DALE EARNHARDT JR., THE WINNER. TONY STEWART, THE NEW CHAMPIONSHIP LEAIRST CR Y ARE NEW POT ADER HEPLE ATOT. U KN THEY’RE80,000 ASSOCIATES RIGHT NOW. THESE PEOPLE STUCK WITH US THROUGH THICK AND THIN, AND, YOU KNOW, IT’S JUST A GREAT DAY. WE HAD AN AWESOME DAY TODAY. BIGGEST THING WAS JUST FINISHING NOT GETTING ANY TROUBLE. AND WE DID THAT, AND NOW WE GET TO GO BACK, GO RACING AGAIN.>>DID YOU TRY AND MAKE A RUN AT HIM?>>NOT AT ALL. I TOLD MY SPOTTER TO TELL HIS SPOTTER I WASN’T LEAVING HIM. IT WASN’T “TOP GUN” BUT I WASN’T LEAVING MY WING MAN. SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE TWO CARS TOGETHER ON A SUPERSPEEDWAY. IF WE DON’T HAVE PROBLEM, WE CAN HELP THEM OUT A LONG.>>ALWAYS RUN WELL TOGETHER. TONY STEWART, SECOND AT TALLEDEGA FOR THE THIRD TIME IN CAREER.>>DALE EARNHARDT JR. IS IN VICTORY JANE, ABOUT TO CLIMB OUT OF HIS BUDWEISER CHEVROLET AND CELEBRATE AS A MILLION-DOLLAR WINNER HERE AT TALLEDEGA, THIRD STRAIGHT WIN AT THIS TRACK. AND THIS IS A CELEBRATION THAT’S GOING TO GO ON FOR A WHILE. HIGH-FIVES ALL AROUND. MONEY IN THE AIR. THE NEW MILLION-DOLLAR WOMAN. WELL, YOU WERE TALKING IN THE GARAGE YESTERDAY AND YOU SAID YOU LIKED THIS PLACE. I IMAGINE YOU DO.>>YEAH, WE’VE HAD SOME GOOD TIME IT IS HERE, I’LL TELL YOU THAT. I’M WORE OUT. BUT WE HAD A GOOD CAR, I REALLY SURPRISED, BUT NOT SURPRISED AT THE SAME TIME, TONY STUCK WITH ME. HE TRIED REAL HARD LAST TIME TO BEAT ME HERE. I GUESS IT’S A LITTLE HARDER TO PASS THE LEADER THAN IT WAS THEN. SO — GOOD CAR, GOOD CAR –>>OUTSTANDING FUEL MILEAGE.>>YEAH, WELL, WE WEREN’T THE ONLY ONES. SOME OF THEM GUYS HAD GOOD FUEL MILEAGE, TOO. THE THING ABOUT IT WAS, AS THE PACK KIND OF THINNED DOWN, ONLY FOUR OR FIVE CARS IN LINE, IT’S HARD TO PUSH A GUY BY THE LEADER. I KNEW THAT WAS GOING TO BE MY ADVANTAGE TO WIN. THIS CAR WON BECAUSE OF GUYS LIKE TONY, JR., RICHIE GILLMORE, TONY SKR, EVERYBODY.>>WE HEARD YOU SCREAMING WHEN YOU TOOK THE LEAD.>>YEAH, WAYS HAVING A GOOD TIME. THE CAR WAS — IT WASN’T TOO — IT WOULDN’T DO EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO DO BUT JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING I ASKED IT TO. I CAN’T COMPLAIN. I HAD A GOOD ENOUGH CAR. SHOOT, MAN, I MEAN IT JUST — I’M JUST HOLDING THE WHEEL.>>CONGRATULATIONS.>>THANK YOU.>>IT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET A BEER DUMPED ON YOUR EQUIPMENT IN VICTORY LANE. THE MICROPHONE SOUNDED A LITTLE NOISY. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THAT. HERE ARE THE RESULTS, DALE EARNHARDT JR. VICTORY TODAY, SECOND STRAIGHT — EXCUSE ME, THIRD STRAIGHT AT IT’LL. HE SWEPT THE SEASON HERE THIS YEAR. BIG STORY OF THE DAY, THOSE WHO FAILED TO FINISH AND THOSE WHO HAD PROBLEMS.>>ALL THOSE CARS YOU SEE THERE, STILL ON THE LEAD LAP, MAYFIELD, WIMMER, THE 23 CAR, TALKING ABOUT HIM A LOT TODAY, BUT 17th PLACE AND 22 CARS ON THE LEAD LAP.>>THERE IT IS, 30th PLACE. MARK MARTIN WENT SOUTH FOR ‘EM ON THE PACE LAP WHEN THE STEERING LOCK UP. HE SLID ACROSS INTO FELLOW FRONT-ROW STARTER JIMMIE JOHNSON AND THEY WERE BEHIND FROM THE DROP OF THE GREEN FLAG. A LOT OF GUYS FAIL TO FINISH, JOHNSON ONE OF THEM. HENDRICK ENGINES HAD THEIR STRUGGLES TODAY. AND THEIR CARS, NOT FARING VERY WELL AT TALLEDEGA, INCLUDING JEFF GORDON, OUT WITH ENGINE PROBLEMS EARLIER IN THE RACE AT LAP 126. DALE EARNHARDT JR. WASN’T SURE HE HAD ENOUGH GAS TO GET INTO VICTORY LANE. HE DID. THERE WERE A LOT OF REALLY HAPPY PEOPLE THERE TO GREET HIM. REEN H CAREER TOPIV FISH.>>I THINK IRAZY GU A DAY HE AT TAEDEGA. YBODED THEIR HEA REAL HE WO, 97 BLOCKED ME, HAD HARD TIME GETTING AROUND TO 26. HE WAS A LAP DOWN. I THINK WE HAD A BETTER CAR THAN FIFTH. BUT I’LL TAKE THAT HERE AT TALLEDEGA. WE MET THE ODDS TODAY — EVERYBODY DID. SO I’M GLAD OF THAT.>>JEFF GREENUST.>>WITHIC NOW YAD GREAT CA TELL ABOHE TT TO Y OUT OF THE DFT>>I FELL OFF THE JACK, I DON’T KNOW WHY. I HAD MY FOOT ON THE BRAKE, I THOUGHT. I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. WE’RE GOING TO FIGURE IT OUT. REAL DISAPPOINTING TO NOT HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN. BEEN THANKFUL TO MY TEAM TO GIVE ME THE CAR, WHEN THEY THREW THE

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