St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Coca-Cola 600: 5 drivers to watch

By JOANNE KORTH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 26, 2002


JEFF BURTON

CAR: No. 99 Ford.

STARTING POSITION: Eighth.

BEST 600 FINISH: First (1999, 2001).

NOTES: Burton, the defending champion, probably wishes all of NASCAR's races were 600 miles. He has won two of the past three years and finished no worse than 11th in the past five. Ninth in the standings, he is bringing up the rear among the four Roush Racing teams, but it's not too late to get into the hunt.

DALE EARNHARDT JR.

CAR: No. 8 Chevrolet.

STARTING POSITION: Sixth.

BEST 600 FINISH: Fourth (2000).

NOTES: His car was fast enough to win last weekend at the Winston, but he chose not to wreck leader Ryan Newman to get the job done. The move showed class, but Junior, who caught Newman with three laps left, was upset for not having a move planned to get around the leader. You can bet he has one now.

JIMMIE JOHNSON

CAR: No. 48 Chevrolet.

STARTING POSITION: Pole.

BEST 600 FINISH: Debut.

NOTES: Johnson, who won his first Winston Cup race last month at California, easily drove away from the field to win the first two segments of the Winston. He has never driven a 600-mile race but no task seems too daunting for this super-rookie. It seems Johnson has found the do-no-wrong charm his co-owner, Jeff Gordon, lost.

RYAN NEWMAN

CAR: No. 2 Ford.

STARTING POSITION: Fourth.

BEST 600 FINISH: 43rd (2001).

NOTES: Newman was a surprise pole-sitter a year ago, when he ran five Cup races to prepare for his rookie season, but lost control and hit the wall while leading in the 11th lap. Oops. This year, he has made precious few rookie mistakes. The winner of the Winston has patience to go with that fast car.

TONY STEWART

CAR: No. 20 Pontiac.

STARTING POSITION: 10th.

BEST 600 FINISH: Third (2001).

NOTES: Stewart shelved his Indianapolis 500 dreams this year so as not to jeopardize his Winston Cup championship quest with the grueling 1,100-mile "double." He will want to make that commitment pay off. Also, Stewart is among five drivers eligible for a $1-million bonus if he wins. How much motivation does one man need?

Back to Sports

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Motorsports
  • Racing's biggest turn
  • Jarrett isn't happy about move rumors
  • Series sends drivers usual word of caution
  • Indianapolis 500: 5 drivers to watch
  • Coca-Cola 600: 5 drivers to watch
  • Legends left holes unfilled

  • World Cup preview
  • Planet turns its focus to Asia
  • Coach still must set U.S. lineup
  • Security made a top priority by both hosts

  • Tennis
  • French Open notebook

  • Storm
  • Storm loses 49-45, is adrift at 1-5

  • Colleges
  • Hometown heroics help FSU take title

  • Lightning
  • St. Louis negotiations: quick and painless

  • Running
  • Runners enjoy steeplechase

  • Boxing
  • Area fighters end bouts quickly

  • Baseball
  • Angels are rising to prominence

  • Letters
  • Profiting from fame does not equal greed

  • Outdoors
  • Books inspire grand adventure ... sort of
  • Daily fishing report

  • Preps
  • All-county girls tennis teams
  • Brandon club wins again
  • Dent's season perfect
  • Around Hillsborough
  • A new high for Miller
  • Busy day for Marion & Co.

  • Rays
  • Call-up baffles Rays hitters in his debut
  • Rays extra
  • Harper does his part as a starter
  • Rays tales
  • Time to make harddecisions draws near


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts