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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bristol notebook

Roush cars terrible
I hope Jack Roush has some spare cars lying around, because the Roush cars were absolutely horrendous on Sunday at Bristol. If he shows up at Martinsville with a similar batch of cars, his drivers are going to continue to slide in the points. With teams like Joe Gibbs and Hendrick performing so well this year, this superteam can not afford to be slackers on a regular basis if they want to compete for the title.

Great run for Ambrose
An unusual name made an appearance in the top 10 throughout the Bristol race … Marcos Ambrose. The man from Down Under hadn’t done much to distinguish himself in NASCAR outside of road courses up until now, but now that he’s made a splash on the oval side let’s see if he can provide a repeat performance in the near future.

Martin has good run -- finally
After a terrible first four races, Mark Martin finally had a solid run and moved off the edge of dropping from the top-35. He’ll have to repeat that strong performance almost every race this year if he wants to make the long climb up to the top 12 and Chase territory. It’s not impossible, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park either.

Points rumblings
Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin leaped into the Chase after strong performances, while Greg Biffle and Brian Vickers fell out. David Reutimann showed he’s not a fluke, running near the front all day and moving up one position to 11th.

Creeping up on the top 12 are Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and A.J. Allmendinger, who ranks 16th in points, ahead of teammates Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson, yet still only has sponsorship covered through the end of May. If Allmendinger is in Chase contention come May and has to stop driving due to lack of sponsorship, that would be about the silliest thing ever. I’m confident though that, piece by piece, the Richard Petty team will get the funding to make sure A.J. can run all the races this year.


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