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Are this season's Alan Kulwickis fading already, or just regrouping?


Jeremy Mayfield: undeterred by Las Vegas setback (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   So what's happened to those Alan Kulwicki teams, those feel-good stories?
   Well, for Jeremy Mayfield and Scott Riggs and Tommy Baldwin, Vegas was a distinct bust.
   Neither Mayfield nor Riggs made the field for Sunday's 427, so they're regrouping here this weekend.
   "We are 100 percent focused on qualifying," Mayfield says.
   "The thing about racing at this level is that success breeds success -- and you've got to keep the tide going in your direction.
   "Even though we got off course in Vegas, we can keep the momentum going in our favor if we qualify well at Atlanta.
    "I don't really look at missing last week's race as a setback, as much as I look at it as a chance to reevaluate areas we can improve this team. I've had some good runs at Atlanta, so this is a great place to get this program back on track -- with a fast lap in qualifying and a solid race day."
   The man on the hot seat may be crew chief Tony Furr.
   "As a crew chief, I have one official win at Atlanta," Furr says. "But if you look back at the past seven or eight years, I should have about five wins.  There have been some heartaches: motor issues, and fuel mileage that didn't go our way.
   "But it's always been a good track for me."
   The bumps here, Furr says, make qualifying tricky: "Keeping the momentum up and not getting caught up in the bumps, mainly in turn one. Those are probably the most important factors in getting a good lap in qualifying."

Kulwicki Wannabes Failing

The Alan Kulwicki wannabes are discovering that they don't have the resources to compete. They're doing what one could have expected - failing. "We are 100% focused on qualifying." Which means, Jeremy, that you are 0% focused on actually doing anything if you make the race.

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