The Frontstretch: Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Racing Finally Delivers by Matt Taliaferro -- Sunday June 17, 2007

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Racing Finally Delivers

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 — Robby Gordon Motorsports — 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.

Biggest Mover(s)
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) — Moved from 44th to 41st in owner points.

Honorable Mention
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.

Biggest Loser(s)
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.

Honorable Mention
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.

Tracking Toyota
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).

Breaking Down the Bubble

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
Ken Schrader
Jon Wood
961 -195
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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©2000 - 2008 Matt Taliaferro and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

Judy Ette
06/18/2007 09:55 AM

Way to go Mikey!! You did a great job. Hope to see you in more races soon!

06/18/2007 11:27 AM

Just curious – why are the standings you cite here different from those on the Nascar on-line web site? For example, NOL shows Robby Gordon in 29th, not 31st as you state here. Also, NOL has Micheal Waltrip at 51st, while you list him here at 48th.

Who’s got the correct standings?

06/18/2007 02:05 PM

Hey 4X4s,

Did you happen to notice that NOL only goes through Pocono?

Matt T. -- FS Staff
06/18/2007 02:24 PM

Just another reason to not bother with NOL, 4X4. Here you can get timely info without the obvious bias!
Paul is correct: NOL’s standings had not been updated; you were viewing the owner points as of Pocono.

— Matt T.

06/18/2007 06:58 PM

Well, I just checked again and the NOL site says “Official Standings after the Citizens Bank 400 at MIS”, and still shows different than what you show here.

Still confused. I’d certainly like to trust you here on FS (great site, good reporters, nice columns) but I don’t see any full standings listed here either.

06/18/2007 09:29 PM

You’re either looking at the driver points and not the owner points, or your looking at the owners they have listed. We’re listing the owners as the team they race for, not the name on the entry sheet.

06/18/2007 09:39 PM

I gotcha 4X4. You are viewing the Driver Points, not the Owner Points. Owners are awarded points based on the performance of their cars as well. The Top 35 cars (not necessarily drivers) are guaranteed a spot in each week’s race. Here’s the full rundown is listed here


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