| ||Wednesday, April 19|
Special to ESPN.com
|TALLADEGA, Ala. -- With persistence and faith taking the place of candles and seances, Jeff Gordon exorcised his haunting with a win at Talladega Superspeedway.
While Gordon was confirming that he's still that Jeff Gordon, the "Ghost of Crew Chief Past" was lifted from beneath the hood of the No. 24 Monte Carlo at Talladega and cast into the memoir of the youngest 50-time winner in Winston
In a season that has been defined by parity and non-repetitious winners, Gordon paved the way for his new crew chief, et al -- Robbie Loomis and the Rainbow Warriors, the Sequel -- to join in on a record-setting list of 2000's winners.
Michael Waltrip, driver of the No. 7 Monte Carlo, completed Monday's Boston Marathon in a time of 4 hours, 42 minutes, and 20 seconds. Waltrip, who started 11th and finished 31st at Talladega, wore starting number 17,398 in Boston. There were 17,813 entrants. On a local radio broadcast in Charlotte earlier in the day, No. 31 crew chief Larry McReynolds had quipped that Waltrip's height gave him an advantage over the favored Kenyans. "Because of his long legs, Michael takes one stride to the Kenyans' five," he said of the 36-year-old Waltrip. "There should be a template for legs in the Marathon." Nemechek nabbed
Joe Nemechek snapped a one-race winning streak by the Busch Series regulars with his win in the Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega. However, victory didn't come without a price. Nemechek's crew chief, Brian Pattie, was slapped with a $20,000 fine after the post-race inspection turned-up discrepancies in the quarter panel height on Nemechek's No. 87 Chevrolet. Pattie was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book: "...actions deemed by NASCAR Officials as detrimental to stock car racing..." and Rule 12.8.1-D: "...the quarter panel height(s) did not meet minimum specifications..." This isn't the first time this season that Nemechek's had a run in with NASCAR's inspection crew. After winning the pole in the same car at Daytona earlier this year, Nemechek's time was disallowed for an illegal weight-distribution to one of the four tires. Lajoie la woozy
Randy Lajoie was treated and released from Carraway Methodist Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., following a lap 60 crash in the Busch Series Touchstone Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. "The only thing I remember is coming back up the track in front of the field," said Lajoie, who was diagnosed with a mild concussion and sent back to his Kannapolis, N.C., home to recover. "I saw Dick Trickle coming at me, and I knew it was going to hurt. The next thing I knew, I was in the infield care center." A week earlier, Lajoie had become the first Busch Series regular competitor to win a Busch Series race in 2000, taking the BellSouth Mobility 320 at Nashville Speedway USA. Phil Furr, a freelance writer based in Charlotte, N.C., writes a weekly auto-racing column for ESPN.com.
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Robbie Loomis discusses Jeff Gordon's victory at Talladega.
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Jeff Gordon says his team never lost faith during the tough times.
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