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

printer version

Rejected appeal keeps Martin a title longshot

By JOANNE KORTH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 17, 2002

HOMESTEAD -- Roush Racing's appeal of a 25-point penalty to Mark Martin was rejected Saturday, hurting the veteran driver's chance of winning the Winston Cup championship.

Martin, driver of the No. 6 Ford, was docked the points for using an unapproved spring Nov. 3 at Rockingham. NASCAR's rule book states that springs must measure 41/2 coils; Martin's was 43/8.

A three-person panel from the National Stock Car Racing Commission upheld NASCAR's ruling.

The commission issued a statement: "The spring rule as written is clear. The spring from the No. 6 car did not meet the requirements of the rule. NASCAR acted fairly and consistently in issuing the penalties."

Martin trails leader Tony Stewart by 89 points going into today's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the season's final race. Stewart can clinch by finishing 22nd.

Roush Racing president Geoff Smith argued the penalty was unfair because the part came from a NASCAR-approved manufacturer, had not been altered and did not enhance the car's performance. He believed it was a strong case but was not surprised by the decision.

"When I woke up this morning, I was pretty sure that the oceans wouldn't boil and pigs wouldn't fly and that NASCAR wouldn't change its mind, and that all got corroborated today," Smith said.

JUST ANOTHER RACE?: Stewart does not expect special treatment from his competitors on the track just because he is racing for the championship. He may get it anyway.

"I hope they race just as hard as they always do," Stewart said. "This is just one of 36 races. We all have to race hard. If 43 guys don't race to win, I'll be very disappointed."

Four-time champion Jeff Gordon said he will race to win, but should the circumstance arise he will give plenty of room to Stewart and Martin, the only drivers who can win the title.

"Absolutely, those guys have worked hard all year long to get in that position," Gordon said. "Now, I'm going to race for a win and if they want to battle me for a win they're putting themselves in a little bit of jeopardy. But I'm going to do everything I can to race them clean and give them the respect they deserve to race for a championship.

"You'd hate to see a championship taken away from a guy because somebody just gets into him and turns him around and knocks him out of the race. I certainly don't want to be that person."

PIT STOPS: Elliott Sadler's No. 21 Ford was fastest in the final practice with a lap of 148.678 mph. ... Anheuser-Busch announced it extended its sponsorship of the Grand National series through 2007.

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

College football
  • One season later, Seminoles exact revenge
  • Gators' win bittersweet
  • A prime time
  • Iowa fans storm Minnesota field
  • SEC: Georgia clinches East with fourth-down TD
  • Big Ten: Bigger scare than usual for Ohio St.
  • State: Golden Knights top Flashes, stay alive in MAC
  • Unknown Gators have banner day
  • Injuries hit Gators' top wide receivers
  • Florida by the numbers
  • Blackwell leaves home a big winner
  • Falcons get desperate in search of offense
  • South Florida by the numbers
  • Big East: Late field goal lifts Owls past Rutgers
  • C-USA: Black Knights break two losing streaks
  • Pac-10: Huskies humble Ducks
  • Nation: Colorado State wins 5th straight
  • Boldin returns to best form at last
  • Injuries put freshmen in backfield
  • Florida State by the numbers
  • Big 12: Red Raiders outgun 'Horns
  • ACC: N.C. State falters 3rd straight week

  • College hoops
  • The madness comes to Tampa
  • March to Madness
  • Nos. 1, 2 get early matchup
  • ACC to discover its stars
  • FAU survives Cleveland St.

  • Preps
  • Federenko leads Falcons to state
  • AHN girls, Jesuit boys in state meet
  • Bucs not their best in final
  • Seminole finally gets past Largo
  • 3 from Pasco Co. collect five titles
  • Forry outlasts Lyons for title
  • Mustangs dominate yet again
  • Panthers refuse to lose
  • Final doesn't go Berkeley Prep's way
  • Indian Rocks girls nip Berkeley Prep

  • More sports
  • New NASCAR poster boy won't pose for honor
  • Highs & lows
  • Change of heart clears way for Hampton deal
  • Baldelli carries breakout into AFL
  • Mavericks stay perfect
  • Division-leading Flyers, Bruins play to tie
  • Palmer sparks a Warburg rally
  • Slap shots
  • Wimmer passes dried-up Keller to win BGN finale at Homestead
  • Rejected appeal keeps Martin a title longshot
  • Stewart bumps photographer, apologizes
  • New rescue system may save lives
  • NFL Game Day: Week 11
  • Packers making early run
  • Taylor hit with fine for gesture

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Letters
  • Paterno column a disgrace

  • Bucs
  • Bucs prepared to face tough times
  • Assistants set new standard
  • High profile -- Simeon Rice
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk
  • ''It's not all about biceps (or triceps)

  • Letters
  • Athletes can learn a lot from Alstott

  • Lightning
  • A big shot at legitimacy
  • Andreychuk keeps focus on No. 600

  • 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