The Callahan Report: Mother Nature Wins at Martinsville

19 April 1998

By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel

MARTINSVILLE, VA: The NASCAR racing teams showed up at Martinsville Speedway with the wrong equipment today. Hydroplane racing boats would have been more suitable for competition at this popular short oval. For the second time this season, NASCAR will run a race on Monday. Rains forced the postponement of the Goody's Headache Powders 500 until Monday at 11:00 a.m (et).

NASCAR officials made the announcement quickly. Thirty minutes after the scheduled 1:00 p.m start, the race was rescheduled for Monday. Rains were continuing to fall. Radar indicated there was no break in the weather pattern. Fans quickly lit up the phone switchboards with calls to the office explaining their "sudden illnesses".

The weather forecast for Monday is much more promising. Clearing skies and temperatures in the sixties will make for a good day of racing. The forecast for VCR tape sales also is a good one as the normal large viewing audience will be working during the race.

Mother nature has been hanging around many of the NASCAR tracks this season. The Atlanta race was also ran on Monday last month. Rain has caused qualifying delays throughout the season. The last race in Martinsville (last season, September 28) was also forced back to a Monday running. Jeff Burton was the winner at that race.

Jeff Burton
Jeff Burton
Needless to say, Burton likes running at Martinsville on Mondays. He reflected on last year's fall race at Martinsville saying "It stands out for two reasons. The first one is because that was after a two-week bout with my (inner) ear problem and being dizzy.

"I knew I couldn't race at New Hampshire and Dover, but I felt I was getting better. Then to win the next week meant a lot." Burton continued, "It was a great feeling. We were having a great year, and to have to step out of the car was hard, but they never got down on me."

Burton starts from the 15th spot on Monday. He will have some very tough competition in front of him. Bobby Hamilton will start from the pole and is always fast at the Martinsville track. Rusty Wallace is the Winston Cup points leader and will be starting from the second spot.

Rusty Wallace, Winston Cup Points Leader
Rusty Wallace, Winston Cup Points Leader

The complete lineup for the race with starting position, (car number), driver, hometown, car model and qualifying speed follows:

1. (4) Bobby Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., Chevrolet, 93.175.
2. (2) Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 93.166.
3. (24) Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro, Ind., Chevrolet, 93.065.
4. (10) Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Ford, 93.065.
5. (96) David Green, Owensboro, Ky., Chevrolet, 92.824.
6. (33) Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet, 92.751.
7. (94) Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford, 92.696.
8. (43) John Andretti, Indianapolis, Pontiac, 92.633.
9. (42) Joe Nemechek, Lakeland, Fla., Chevrolet, 92.574.
10. (18) Bobby Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Pontiac, 92.569.
11. (98) Rich Bickle, Edgerton, Wis., Ford, 92.556.
12. (16) Ted Musgrave, Franklin, Wis., Ford, 92.524.
13. (12) Jeremy Mayfield, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, 92.470.
14. (1) Darrell Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Chevrolet, 92.438.
15. (99) Jeff Burton, South Boston, Va., Ford, 92.402.
16. (44) Kyle Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac, 92.402.
17. (81) Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 92.393.
18. (6) Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford, 92.353.
19. (11) Brett Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 92.335.
20. (22) Ward Burton, South Boston, Va., Pontiac, 92.249.
21. (40) Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Chevrolet, 92.106.
22. (36) Ernie Irvan, Salinas, Calif., Pontiac, 92.070.
23. (88) Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford, 91.936.
24. (9) Lake Speed, Jackson, Miss., Ford, 91.936.
25. (8) Hut Stricklin, Calera, Ala., Ford, 91.864.
26. (23) Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Ford, 91.855.
27. (21) Michael Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, 91.771.
28. (75) Rick Mast, Rockbridge Baths, Va., Ford, 91.722.
29. (77) Robert Pressley, Asheboro, N.C., Ford, 91.655.
30. (31) Morgan Shepherd, Conover, N.C., Chevrolet, 91.651.
31. (3) Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet, 91.633.
32. (41) Steve Grissom, Gadsden, Ala., Chevrolet, 91.593.
33. (91) Kevin LePage, Shelbourne, Vt., Chevrolet, 91.562.
34. (35) Todd Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Pontiac, 91.518.
35. (28) Kenny Irwin, Indianapolis, Ford, 91.492.
36. (50) Randy LaJoie, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 91.452.
37. (5) Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevrolet, provisional.
38. (26) Johnny Benson, Grand Rapids, Mich., Ford, provisional.
39. (97) Chad Little, Spokane, Wash., Ford, provisional.
40. (90) Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Ford, provisional.
41. (7) Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, provisional.
42. (30) Jeff Green, Owensboro, Ky., Pontiac, provisional.
43. (13) Jerry Nadeau, Danbury, Conn., Ford, provisional.

Editors Note: The images displayed in this article are available for larger viewing in The Racing Image Galleries and The Visions of Speed Art Gallery

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