Photo: Christina Tutor for Autoblog.com
While Jacques Villeneuve's first taste of the Talladega Superspeedway Saturday didn't involve the "big one," it did involve a smaller 3-truck wreck on Lap 54. That put the former CART and F1 champion in the garage for part of the race, but the Canadian's crew repaired his No. 27 truck for a finish in 30th place. Saturday was only Villeneuve's second race in the Craftsman Truck Series.
And while he may have slept well before his first NASCAR Nextel Cup race today, we're guessing the 12 drivers in the Race for the Cup tossed and turned all night, concerned about what a rookie in the wildcard race could do to their standings.
Villeneuve qualified for the sixth spot in today's UAW-Ford 500 in the No. 27 UNICEF Toyota Camry. His Toyota has lots of company, with five others in the top six spots including a very pleased Michael Waltrip (No. 55) sitting on the pole followed by Dave Blaney (No. 22) and Brian Vickers (No. 83).
And how did that other open-wheel champion do this weekend? Dario Franchitti finished 17th in his first stock car race, the ARCA RE/MAX 250 Friday night. He will drive the No. 40 car for Chip Ganassi in 2008.