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« NASCAR schedule needs more variety | Main | Team Hendrick in the pits and other Michigan notes »

Stewart, Gordon and others still seeking first win

By admin | August 16, 2008

By Richard Allen

Jeff Gordon's crew has yet to prepare a winner.

Sunday is a day when people often look through their newspapers for the classified ads. So, I thought I would add one on behalf of several NASCAR drivers.

Winning NASCAR Driver seeking first win. Can be on big speedway, short track or cookie cutter. Please come soon as time is running out.

There are no less then nine drivers who won at least one race last year but have gone through the first 2/3 of the 2008 season without making a single trip to victory lane. Among those drivers are former champions, big race winners and up and coming stars.

Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth are former Sprint Cup champions who have yet to win this season. Between the three of them they accounted for 11 wins in 2008.

Stewart, of course, will be leaving his Joe Gibbs Racing team at the end of 2008 but would no doubt like to go out a winner.

Gordon took six checkered flags last year. He has won every big race NASCAR contests but has come up empty in his 2008 campaign.

Kenseth got off to a terrible start, fading as far as 22nd in the standings. He has recovered from that with consistent Top 10 runs but no victories.

Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle each drive for top teams and could be considered contenders for victory every week on the Sprint Cup Series. However, neither has parlayed that into a win yet in 2008.

Jamie McMurray won in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history last year in Daytona to collect the second win of his career. However, another win for Roush Fenway Racing has not followed.

Three drivers, Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex and Casey Mears, each won their first race in Sprint Cup competition last year. Neither has followed up on those wins.

With 22 of 36 races complete, time is running out for drivers who have not yet won. And more, time is running out for those who will be qualified for the Chase for the Championship to garner bonus points. The Chase cutoff is just four races away.

Part of the problem is that Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards have accounted for 12 wins this season. That does not leave much for anyone else. At this point many of these drivers would be happy to collect some table scraps.

There is a bright side for those who have not yet tasted the winner’s circle champagne. Conceivably, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle or Kevin Harvick could not only qualify for the Chase but could win the title without a single victory.

Time may be running out for race wins but there are even bigger prizes still within reach for at least some of these as yet winless drivers.

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

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