Chevrolet Teams Continue Dominance
August 15, 2007
The current season of the NASCAR Nextel Cup has been all Chevrolet. Teams using the Impala SS from the General Motors marque have won the majority of races. Midway into the season though, Chevrolet has to fight off a strong resurgence from Ford and Dodge. On one stretch, Ford has won two races and Dodge with one while Chevy only has one. But after that, Chevrolet drivers are back in their dominating form as they have won three out of the last four races.
The latest race was the Centurion Boats at the Glen held at the Watkins Glen International. The race was won by two time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. Stewart has posted the last three victories for Chevrolet. Going into the race though, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon are expected to win since both have shown their capabilities on road courses in the past.
Jeff Gordon was leading towards the end of the race with almost everyone believing that Gordon has the race already won. A mistake though opened a window for Stewart who overtook Gordon and never looked back. Gordon lost control of his car at turn one of the track on the last lap of the race. This enabled Stewart to pass him.
It is interesting to note that Stewart was the one leading the race before Gordon. On lap number 44 of the 90-lap race, Stewart was unable to control the effect of his car’s Chevy brake pads which sent his car spinning.
“Jeff lost it the same way I lost it,” said Stewart after the race. “I had to keep fighting back. I kept the pressure on Jeff hoping he made a mistake and he did. I just had more time to make up for my spin. I was probably the most shocked person to see that happen. He's won here and won 4 championships; it was tricky in turn one.”
Gordon, on the other hand, was furious at his mistake. He currently leads the drivers’ championship standings but he failed to get the ten extra points that would further cement his lead going into the Chase for the Nextel Cup. “Pretty much the same thing that happened to Tony earlier in the race in the braking zone getting into turn one,” said Gordon. “Just stupid. I knew I had to push, Tony was really good. I wanted that win really bad. Points don't mean anything. I pushed and I pushed too far. What happened is the team deserved to win and the driver didn't get it done.”
Meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s hope of a championship bid in his final year with his father’s team suffered a setback. His car was running well until his engine failed. His car was then towed into the pits. The engine failure means that the most popular NASCAR today did not earn any points. This dropped him to 14th in the standings. He is now trailing Kurt Busch by 100 points. Only the top twelve will be qualified to participate in the Chase for the Nextel Cup.
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