Originally created 02/24/02

Nacsar notebook

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Jason Keller's victory in Saturday's 1-866-RBCTerm.com 200 stirred memories of the way Mark Martin used to dominate the NASCAR Busch Series at the North Carolina Speedway.

Keller finished about 500 yards ahead of second-place Greg Biffle at the 1.017-mile raceway that was nicknamed "Markingham" after Martin won 11 races on the junior circuit there.

"You don't remember Mark Martin here then, because he used to kick our butts like that all the time," Keller said after parking his Albertson's Ford in Victory Lane. "It was just a great day for us. I really felt like in Happy Hour yesterday (Friday) that we were really good and Steve (Addington, crew chief) decided to make no changes, so it all worked out.

"Pit stops were great and we talked a big game all winter long, and now here we are in Victory Lane, so that's really nice."

Keller led 74 laps and was a full straightaway ahead of Biffle at the finish. Randy LaJoie trailed in third place.

HAPPY HOUR: John Andretti had the fastest car in the final 45-minute practice session known as Happy Hour for today's Subway 400.

Andretti's Dodge was clocked at 150.984 mph. If he manages to win, it will mark the 16th time a member of the Petty family or a driver from Petty Enterprises won at the 1.017-mile raceway.

Jeff Green was second-fastest at 150.928 mph, followed by Bobby Labonte in third at 150.884.

PARK ON THE MEND: Driver Steve Park had a successful test session last week at the Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte and he plans to test against this week at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Park has been out of the sport since a September crash at the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. He's battling double-vision and wears corrective glasses.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Waltrip and Kenny Wallace were all at the speedway to watch last week's test, as were NASCAR officials and a doctor.

"We were all in total shock," Wallace said. "Steve jumped in that car and it was amazing. He was flying"

Wallace was hired to replace Park until he's able to return. Wallace said it's now possible for Park to be back in the car on a fulltime basis by the March 17 race at Darlington.

SMITH EYES MAGIC: O. Bruton Smith, who owns raceways in Concord, N.C., Hampton, Ga., Fort Worth, Tex., Sonoma, Calif., Bristol, Tenn., and Las Vegas, wants to buy the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association and move the team to Charlotte.

The Hornets currently are seeking approval to move from Charlotte to New Orleans. Last month, Rich DeVos, owner of the Magic, said his team was for sale.

If Smith gets his way - and insiders with the NBA said he won't - he will buy the Magic and move them to Charlotte. The NBA has said it wants the Magic to remain in Central Florida.

Smith had a handshake deal to buy the Hornets, but it feel through at the last moment.

PIT STOPS: This is the first week of NASCAR's new single-engine rule for the Winston Cup Series. So far, none of the teams have had engine troubles during practice or qualifying. Several teams, however, put more than 100 miles on their engines during a pair of practice sessions Saturday. Teams now must practice, qualify and race with the same engine ... Travis Carter, whose sponsorship ends with Kmart after today's race, said both of his cars - one driven by Joe Nemechek, the other by Todd Bodine - will race next week at Las Vegas.


Trending this week:


© 2018. All Rights Reserved.    | Contact Us