Volume II, Issue 12, Page 3

With John Carollo

Share The Love

his column is dedicated to Cindy and ______. The blank line is so you can dedicate it to one of your friends, too. We’ve never dedicated a column before but you’ll see why later on.
The 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup season is a done doggy but worth taking a look at over our collective shoulders. Congrats to Chevy driver, Jimmie Johnson and his boys and girls. The ’07 title is the seventh such NASCAR Cup Championship for Hendrick Motorsports. Congrats to the other two Chevy teams of Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer who made it a one, two, three finish in the points for Chevy. Now, that’s always good but Chevy done wrapped up the Manufacturer’s Cup Award, too. Wait, there’s more…

Team Chevy has made a record-breaking 26 trips to victory lane in 35 races this year. Let’s just say that again; 26 trips to victory lane in 35 races. When Jimmie Johnson won at Phoenix, Chevy surpassed its season win record of 25 victories set in 1958. Had they won one more race, Chevy would have won exactly 75 percent of all points-paying races in 2007.

Of the 31 Manufacturers' Titles won in NASCAR Cup competition by Chevrolet, Monte Carlo contributed to 24 of them- - '72 through '74; '76-'80; '83-'89; '95-'96; '98; '01, '03-'07
The Monte Carlo/Monte Carlo SS has scored 396 wins in Cup of the 622 for Chevrolet to date. Of the 23 Cup Series Driver's Championships won by Chevrolet since 1949, Monte Carlo/Monte Carlo SS was driven either a full or partial season by 16 of the drivers: Benny Parsons - 1 (1973), Cale Yarborough - 2 (1976, 1977) (other was in an Oldsmobile), Richard Petty - 1 (1979 his last championship, other six were another manufacturer ), Dale Earnhardt, Sr. - (1980, 1987, 1984) (his other four where in a Lumina), Terry Labonte - 2 (1984, 1996), Jeff Gordon - 4 (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, Tony Stewart - 1 (2005) (other was in a Pontiac) and Jimmie Johnson - 2 (2006, 2007)

Anyway, we put these here facts together to show you what an ass whippin’ Chevy done give them Fords. And that’s why the dedication at the beginning of this deal. Cindy is a friend of mine and the poor girl’s a real die hard Ford fan. She got cocky calling me after a Ford won early in the season so I started calling her when the Chevys won. Then all I got was her voice mail. “So this one’s for you Cindy.” All you other Chevy fans can fill in the blank of your favorite long-suffering Ford fan and send it to them just like I’m gonna send this to Cindy.

More Monte Carlo
Last time, we had Dale Jr. talking about his favorite Monte Carlo moment. It turns out there’s a few others that choose theirs, too.

"We were fortunate to win a number of races over the years with the Monte Carlo," said Richard Childress, "The Brickyard 400s in 1995 and 2003, the Winston Select 500 at Talladega in 2000, Kevin's first Cup win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2001 and this year's Daytona 500 all are near the top. The best memory, however, had to be winning the 1998 Daytona 500 with Dale. We had won the Daytona 499 more than a few times but never got to the top until '98. Having Dale win in his 20th try and it being NASCAR's 50th anniversary only made things that much bigger."

Two-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart: "Probably my best memory with a Chevy Monte Carlo is what is still my most favorite racing memory-- winning the Brickyard 400 for the first time (2005).  Everyone knows how badly I wanted to win at Indy, and when I finally did, it was the best feeling I ever had.”

Jeff Gordon, four-time NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion, ain’t drove nothing but Chevys throughout his career. In fact, he leads the list of drivers winning with Monte Carlos. "My favorite racing memory of the Monte Carlo was its reintroduction into the Cup Series back in 1995," said Gordon. "The car was so dominant that year, and we were able to win our first championship with it, as well."

immie Johnson, said, "One of the neater things that I have done is to go to the Monte Carlo assembly plant and see the whole process," said Johnson. "That was actually really cool. I got to go up in the testing bay and go through all the cycles then got the green light and the sticker and drove it off the assembly floor. On track, it would be my first win in Nextel Cup was in a Monte Carlo."

DEI driver Martin Truex, Jr. said "I have a lot of fond memories of the Monte Carlo. I won 13 Busch Series races with it and two Busch titles. My favorite memory of the car is winning the Talladega Busch Series race for the third year in a row. The car was painted black like Dale Earnhardt's old car. He was one of my heroes growing up, and to drive a Monte Carlo like he did and to win those races at Talladega-- a place that he dominated-- meant the world to me."

Bye, Bye Monte, we’re gonna miss ya…Y’all c’mon back!
One more thing; We done screwed up last month. We said the Monte left NASCAR in ’73 and didn’t come back until the mid 80’s. We forgot the Second-Gen Monte. It got its licks in with studs like Darrell Waltrip driving the Gatorade #88 nicknamed Bertha. It’s a cool story and we’ll tell ya about it some day. Waltrip won the first of his three Championships wheeling Montes (and Buicks) for good ‘ol Junior Johnson who just come off winning three in a row with Cale Yarborough. There was also that cat named Earnhardt who won the first of his SEVEN Championships in 1980 in a Second-Gen Monte.  


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