Tracking The Top 35 In Nextel Cup Owner Points · Matt Taliaferro · Sunday June 17, 2007
Although five teams on "Bubble Watch" secured Top 15 finishes at this weekend's Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway, only one â€” Robby Gordon Motorsports â€” was able to make meaningful movement in the owner points. Who would have imagined that a race at Michigan that was unimpeded by gas mileage issues would net Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Paul Menard, and David Reutimann prime property on the final scoring pylon? Unfortunately, those four are with teams that appear to be too far back for it to matter in the Top 35 season standings.
For the rest of the Bubble Boys, it was more of the same this weekend: Mediocre finishes that witnessed no movement in positions 35 through 37.
Technically, the biggest mover was David Reutimann, whose impressive 15th-place run vaulted him three spots to 41st. Realistically though, Michael Waltrip's 10th was the jaw dropper of the week and gives the beleaguered Toyota point man a giant boost in confidence. However, don’t get visions of the Top 35 dancing in your head quite yet. Waltrip’s No. 55 remains mired in 48th, 665 markers and a blizzard in hell from catching the No. 70 team and Johnny Sauter in 35th.
David Reutimann (No. 00 team) â€” Moved from 44th to 41st in owner points.
Everyone's favorite single-car owner/driver, Robby Gordon, wheeled it to a 13th-place finish, his second Top 15 run in the past three races. That gained him one spot in the standings to 31st, expanding his cushion over the 35th-place team of No. 70 and Johnny Sauter to 134 points.
It's feast or famine for Brian Vickers and his merry band of bulls, and this week was famine. Vickers was involved in Michigan's version of "The Big One" on lap 75 and finished 41st. That hit dropped the No. 83 team two spots in the owner rankings, to 40th.
Ricky Rudd and the No. 88 team was a disappointing 22nd and lost a spot to their No. 38 brethren. Rudd’s No. 88 now sits a perilous 68 points ahead of No. 70 and that 35th-place bubble standing.
Michigan was much kinder to you when you drove a Ford, huh Dale? Four-time MIS winner Dale Jarrett did not qualify for this week’s event, a misfortune which dropped him to 42nd in owner points. Ditto for 2005 victor Jeremy Mayfield, who I hear may be getting a little antsy at BDR.
But aside from the usual slate of DNQs, there was plenty of reason to celebrate within Toyota’s camp this week. On the whole, this may have been Michael Waltrip Racing's best showing since the Gatorade Duels, as both Waltrip (10th) and David Reutimann (15th) notched Top 15 runs. Dave Blaney snuck in 18th, his third Top 20 of the year. However, Team Red Bull struggled once again, finishing 31st (A.J. Allmendinger ) and 41st (Brian Vickers).
|Pos||Owner||Car #||Driver||Points||Points +/- of 35th Place|
|31||Robby Gordon Motorsports||7||Robby Gordon||1,290||+134|
|32||Haas CNC Racing||66||Jeff Green||1,263||+107|
|33||Robert Yates Racing||38||David Gilliland||1,235||+79|
|34||Robert Yates Racing||88||Ricky Rudd||1,224||+68|
|35||Haas CNC Racing||70||Johnny Sauter||1,156||0|
|36||Evernham Motorsports||10||Scott Riggs||1,115||-41|
|37||Bill Davis Racing||22||Dave Blaney||1,038||-118|
|38||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||15||Paul Menard||1,004||-152|
|39||Glen Wood||21||Bill Elliott|
|40||Team Red Bull||83||Brian Vickers||946||-210|
|41||Michael Waltrip Racing||00||David Reutimann||771||-385|
|42||Michael Waltrip Racing||44||Dale Jarrett||756||-400|
|43||James Finch / Morgan-McClure Motorsports||4||Ward Burton||716||-440|
|44||Furniture Row Racing||78||Kenny Wallace||707||-449|
|45||Team Red Bull||84||A.J. Allmendinger||591||-565|
|46||Bill Davis Racing||36||Jeremy Mayfield||589||-567|
|47||BAM Racing||49||Mike Bliss||537||-619|
|48||Michael Waltrip Racing||55||Michael Waltrip||491||-665|
|49||Front Row Motorsports||37||Kevin LePage||363||-793|
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