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Michigan track should calm NASCAR's two-week storm

By Associated Press
Published June 18, 2004

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Rusty Wallace hopes quiet replaces chaos and confusion at Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

"The last two weeks have produced enough weirdness, controversy and torn-up race cars for a quarter of a season, let alone just the two races," he said Thursday.

The previous races, at Pocono and Dover, featured confusion over new rules and scoring. NASCAR ended up issuing apologies to two drivers, and the races produced 22 cautions for nearly a quarter of the laps.

Most problems grew out of rules governing freezing the field when the caution flag is out and when pit lane opens.

"It must be a situation where the moon is aligned with some of the evil stars or something weird like that," Wallace said. "With all the crashes, controversial calls and unusual stuff going on, you just wonder what could happen next."

Wallace, though, figures Michigan's wide, high-banked track should help the race run smoothly.

In 10 races there beginning with Dale Jarrett's caution-free win in 1999, only 269 of 1,956 laps have been run under yellow.

"Michigan has always been a pretty calm place with all the excitement centered around fuel mileage, pit strategy and track position," Wallace said. "It's just not a place where all the crazy stuff happens."

[Last modified June 18, 2004, 01:13:22]


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