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Junior calls Martin a wimp and other Daytona notes

By admin | July 6, 2008

By Richard Allen


It did not take long for all the good feeling over Mark Matin’s announcement that he was coming to Hendrick Motorsports to wear off.

Late in the going of the Coke Zero 400 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. complained to his spotter that Martin was not giving him enough of a push. “Mark’s wimping out on me”, Junior insisted.

In reality, of course, these type comments happen often during restrictor plate races among teammates, former teammates, future teammates and drivers who have never been nor ever will be teammates. Drivers are constantly looking for a bigger push from the guy behind them and get mad when they do not get it.

However, the irony of the moment was not lost after the weekend of good feeling.

Junior wound up 8th while Martin finished 10th.



Jimmie Johnson looked like the Jimmie Johnson of old. The Jimmie Johnson who was often criticized by other drivers for his driving style on restrictor plate tracks, that is.

On virtually every pit stop the driver of car #48 very aggressively shot across the width of pit road and on more than one occasion forced other drivers into the grass, including teammate Jeff Gordon.

At one time Johnson fell to the back of the pack, thinking he had a flat tire. This coming as a result of contact with eventual winner Kyle Busch when the two touched as Johnson tried to slam the door on Busch.

Johnson was eventually involved in a late race crash and finished 23rd.



Yates Racing had a good night go bad in a hurry at Daytona.

David Gilliland was having a great run in the Coke Zero 400, running well into the Top 5 and looking very much like a contender for the win.

Unfortunately, he crashed along with Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin.

Gilliland finished 40th.

Travis Kvapil also seemed to be on his way to a solid finish. He too ran in the Top 10 at times during the night. He was also involved in a crash.

Kvapil finished 31st.



Jeff Burton got lucky once, but not twice.

He was involved in a rare restrictor plate spin in which he did not hit anything very hard, only sustaining minor damage as he sailed through the infield grass.

However, the second time around he was not so lucky. His car was heavily damaged in a later crash. He finished 37th which dropped him to 3rd in the overall standings 202 points behind leader Kyle Busch.



It was an unfortunate but appropriate ending for Casey Mears in the Coke Zero 400. He was caught up in an accident which resulted in a 34th place finish. This coming on the same weekend in which everyone on his current team seemed all too happy to welcome his soon to be replacement, Mark Martin, to the team.


Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “Junior calls Martin a wimp and other Daytona notes”

  1. Ginger Says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Good Lord, you are a desperate man in search for a topic aren’t you. Seems to me you wimped out.

  2. Wayne M Says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Well I guess Ginger said it for me. What a bunch of crap

  3. Ray Says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    I agree with the Jimmy Johnson being an idiot article. The rest is pretty much garbage though.

  4. Connie Says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I heard the radio when Jr. said Mark was wimping out on him. Thought it was petty coming from Jr, before the rest of you get fighting mad I am a Jr. fan. I was disappointed in Jr. for saying that. Mark was only doing what the rest of the drivers were doing, trying to get a win for them selves.

  5. dave Says:
    July 7th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Mark Martin is a wimp. It’s about time somebody said it.

  6. Tony Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Martin is a wimp, if he wasn’t he would have won multiple titles over the years.

    Mark is a class act, but out on the track he’s too nice.