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Bobby Race recaps for 2001

Dover the Monster Mile:
It was a long day! Bobby stayed on the lead lap all day thanks to some well timed cautions but he was never a factor in the race. He started 12th due to his place in the points standings since qualifying was rained out and that is pretty much where he finished. Jeff Gordon made up for his poor showing last week and dominated the whole race leading all but a handfull of laps. Tony ended in sixth place. It was a hard race to watch for Bobby fans as with each drop of the green flag after a caution he just seemed to drop back just staying ahead of the race leader to keep from being lapped. Michigan, and Pocono are coming up and should be good races for Bobby.

The 600:
The qualifying attempt wasn't awe inspiring with Bobby starting around 24th for the race, but facing a 600 mile race if you're not on the pole it really doesn't matter much where you start. AS long as you stay out of everyone else's problems and the car holds together the trick is to be there at the end.
Well the strategy worked well and with the nightfall the #18 started to show just how strong it was. Bobby dominated the later stages of the race only to spin out going for the lead after a pit stop on lap 64. Bobby admitted that he may have gotten into the corner too hot and that the tire pressure may not have built up enough yet. I really felt bad for him as he had the car to beat and he may have gotten a little too anxious there with the start that he has had this year.
He battled his way back from 17th on the lead lap to finish 5th. Altogether a good finish but he had the car to win this one. Tony ended up 3rd, after starting at the tail end of the field for missing the drivers meeting, capping off an 1,100 mile marathon beginning with the Indy 500 in which he finished 6th. He raised about a quarter of a million dollars for Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Camp for seriously ill children. A camp they are starting in honor of their son Adam. Attaboy Tony!
Bobby said that he had spent over 5 hours with the Goodyear Tire Engineers at a tire test and that he now can understand what he is feeling and relate it to what the tire is doing. If he has the tires figured out now and the engines appear to have been fixed watch out! BOBBY IS BACK!!!

The WINSTON:
Congratulations to Bobby and the Team for qualifying second. It looked like Bobby would be a contender and then at the end of the first section he dropped back seemingly to get a good starting point after the inversion. However he dropped one spot too far and had to start 13th. He spent the remainder of the Winston catching up only to finish fourth. A good showing. It just shows that he has the tires figured out and should be a contender for the 600.
Go Bobby!!! Go JGR!!!

DAYTONA:
The big story here is the untimely death on the last lap of Dale Earnhardt. This race will be remembered for this one incident and the sport will never be the same without the intimidator. Dale is with the Lord and I pray his family, friends and fans can find peace.
Bobby had a strategy of hanging out in the back of the pack with DJ and Johnny Benson and trying to avoid the big one. Well that didn't work as the big one happened and blocked everything. As it turns out Tony went flipping over the lead pack after Robby Gordon started a chain reaction that turned Ward Burton into Tony's quarter panel sending him airborn. Tony fell out of the sky landing on Bobby! Tony got a concussion but Bobby was fine. Both recorded DNFs in the first race of the season. Ward called Robbie Gordon an idiot in his interview. Bobby who went to Tony's car after the action stopped said he asked Tony who the president was. He said Tony actually knew. Which since they were in Florida was pretty good.
This was the second time I had heard Bobby use this strategy. The last time was in Talledega last year. With similar results! I hope the team tries to run at the front from now on.
Not a good start for the season.
Congratulations to Mikey on his first win ever! Wish DE could be there to help celebrate.
Smokey Yunnic award goes to the Nadeau team for their collapsing rear which won them a front row starting place but really earned them the emnity of the inspectors. The crew cheif was given a four race suspension. (Worked too good!)

ROCKINGHAM:
After being rained out on Sunday the rest of the race was run on Monday. Little E was knocked out of the race on Sunday on the first lap. Got hit from behind by Hornaday after he had checked up because Robby Gordon had cut everyone off getting to the bottom of the track on the first lap. R. Gordon is dangerous out there!
Ok now this is more like it. Bobby hung around the top 5 all day and was within striking distance with 10 laps to go. With eight to go he started his charge and he ran down Steve Park with a couple laps to go. Catching him and passing him proved two very different prospects however as Steve Park was able to hold Bobby off and win the race. It looked like Bobby had a run a couple of times but was not able to make it stick on old tires. Just before the white flag lap Bobby had a run on the outside and Steve got loose and fishtailed up in front of Bobby just missing him. Bobby lost his momentum and fishtailed brushing his right quarter panel off the wall. He said that if he tried agin he would have wrecked them both. A good race for Bobby and a fitting win for another DEI car. I'm satisfied with a second today!
Jeff Gordon's team earns the Smokey this week. After finishing third their car failed post race inspection.. Tooo low! Said it was a failed set screw that caused this and kept them from winning... yeah right!!

LAS VEGAS:
We rolled the dice and came up snake eyes! Looked like a typical Bobby race... Hang out in the top ten all day and be there at the end and in contention. Unil with 90 or so laps to go Bobby had the fuel pressure drop off and he lost a cylinder. Looked like a blown engine however a caution saved him and left him on the lead lap when it was found that the negine had not blown. However the problem resurfaced a few laps later and Bobby just drove around getting foru laps down and ending 29th. Tony ended 12th and is now in 10th in the points. Bobby is mired in 19th. Time to get back on track! Pun intended! and Boblanta is a good place to do it. Last year DE beat Bobby by 8 inches in a thrilling race. Wish it could be a rematch but Still hope for a Bobby Victory this weekend. This is a good track for Bobby!
The smokey goes to Mike Skinners crew this week who put some performance enhansing substance in the air cleaner and got caught..

Atlanta:
It was a poor qualifying effort for both the JGR teams who started 34th and 35th on the grid. No problem, we all know that Bobby is awesome here. Well he almost was! He worked his way into the top 5 with about 60 laps to go and got as high as 4th but then it happened again. In a late race restart his engine let go again. Not all the way but enough to make him limp around to a 31st place finish and now down to 26th in the points. Mark Cronquist has some sleepless nights ahead to get this enigine deal worked out. It reminds me of a few years ago when the engines let go in late race restarts on consecutive races. It can't get worse it can only get better. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick on his first WC win in this third start. Enough with the Earnhardt nostalgia. Let's get JGR back in the fray!

Talledega:
The lady in black, the track too tough to tame.. Whatever.. Ok Bobby had a motor that made it to the finish but he was hanging in around the back of the top ten all day. Just didn't have a handle on it. Ended 11th. But after the last couple of weeks I'll take it and get on to Bristol. Tony had a frustrating day. He was running in the top 5 all day until Rusty Wallace came out of his pit stall and put Tony into the pit wall big time. He was mired around 20th for the rest of the day. Wallace's spotter was telling him clear when he came out... Does he not see that bright Orange car!!!

Bristol:
Before I even get started here on Bobby and Tony... One writer said that the world is safer now for all WC drivers. Robby Gordon was released this week from his ride in the #4 car! Bout Time!


After this I was so down about the year so far that I stopped doing the race recaps. Anyway it is now the break for the Winston and Mother's Day. Bobby has made his way up to a tie for 12th place and has been doing better lately. Even pulled off a pole position at Richmond. It ain't over till the fat lady sings and she ain't even showed up to the concert hall yet. JD and Gordon top the leader board but DJ has been faltering lately. A scary thought is that if Tony had not been eliminated at Daytona in Robby Gordon's mistake, And had he not been run into on pit lane by Rusty Wallace and spun by Jeff Gordon in another race on the last lap where would he be in the standings now even with the sour engines.