Watch Labonte put Dodge back in Victory Lane at Lowe's
The Eliminator: Lowe's
Updated: October 10, 2008, 12:40 PM ETBy Matthew Willis | ESPN.com
OK, everyone, take a deep breath. We're through with Talladega, a track that is truly deserving of the name Eliminator.Needless to say, this one is still holding its spot on my DVR, just in case I don't catch it when it re-airs on ESPN Classic. A few teams exhaled when they didn't get caught up in the "big one" but ended up getting caught up in the second "big one" -- including my pick, Dale Earnhardt Jr.Of course, if you didn't get caught up in either "big one," your tire might have exploded, a la Denny Hamlin. Other than that, it was just your typical Sunday drive.I think it's time to go inside the numbers:
- • Sixteen drivers failed to finish, including half of the Chasers.
• Only 18 drivers finished on the lead lap, the last of whom, Regan Smith, nearly pulled off a Tampa Bay Rays-esque upset. We can debate whether he actually won, or the timing of his move, another time. Let's set a date. Call my secretary. (Note to ESPN.com editors: Can I get a secretary?)
• There were 64 lead changes, most in a Cup race since 1984, also at Talladega.
• There were also 28 leaders, most in Cup Series history.
- There's been a manufacturer sweep at Charlotte in each of the past five seasons. (34 drivers eliminated, 13 remaining)
Drivers eliminated: AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, Dave Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Bill Elliott, David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Joe Nemechek, David Ragan, Tony Raines, David Reutimann, Scott Riggs, Ken Schrader, Mike Skinner, Regan Smith, Scott Speed, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip.
- The past nine Sprint Cup winners all finished in the top 13 of that race last season. (11 drivers eliminated, two remaining)
Drivers eliminated: Kurt Busch, Bryan Clauson, Derrike Cope, Robby Gordon, Sam Hornish Jr., Chad McCumbee, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson, Mike Wallace.
- The past five fall Charlotte winners finished in the top 12 in the last Atlanta race. (One driver eliminated, one remaining)
Driver eliminated: Kasey Kahne
- And your winner is: Bobby Labonte.