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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Scanner Static: No Denying Jimmie Johnson Now

I don’t “hate” him or anyone out there, but I’ll reiterate what I said at the very beginning of this thing: Because of Jimmie Johnson’s previous late-season fades, he’ll have to prove to me he can do it before I’ll ever pick him to do it. It certainly looks like he’s on the cusp of winning the Cup, but things can change quickly in NASCAR. If he takes the title Sunday, I’ll congratulate him.

Thompson in Turn 5: Homestead, 2006 Nextel Cup Championship Possibilities Abound

Anyone that chooses not to watch the season-ending and championship-determining race this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, I’ve just got one thing to tell you: you may be bitterly disappointed. Don’t be surprised if you shake your head in disbelief that night, hearing final results on SportsCenter that were radically different from what you assumed to be a foregone conclusion after Sunday’s race at Phoenix.

Becca’s Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2006 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

High-fives all around this week to Kevin Harvick’s pit crew, which deserves as much credit for Sunday’s victory as the driver himself. The No. 29 team delivered flawless sub-14-second stops throughout the race, making sure Harvick consistently got off pit road ahead of the pack. As a result, Harvick’s crew won the weekly pit-crew challenge in Phoenix, marking their third such victory of the season.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Nextel Cup: 2006 Ford 400 at Homestead Edition

After 35 races, over 10,000 laps and countless hours spent behind the wheel, the final race of the season comes down to five drivers from five different organizations battling for the 2006 Nextel Cup championship. There is Jimmie Johnson, the perpetual bridesmaid who has specialized in watching titles slip just out of his grasp; Matt Kenseth, the quiet former champion; Kevin Harvick, the brash driver in search of rewriting NASCAR history; Denny Hamlin, the rookie nobody expected to be this far this fast; and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the fan favorite searching to keep a family tradition alive. Now all that is left is 400 short miles, just 267 laps to decide who will etch their name in the NASCAR history books.

Kevin Harvick Sweeps 2006 Season at PIR; Jimmie Johnson Builds on Points Lead

With sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s, Harvick battled a battery problem that required turning off his cooling fans in the cockpit for much of the race. Nevertheless, he was dominant throughout the afternoon, winning the Checker Auto Parts 500 and moving up two spots in the championship point standings to third.

Juan Pablo Montoya Reflects on Performance To Date

Fresh off a top-20 finish in Saturday’s Busch Series Arizona Travel 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Juan Pablo Montoya was surprisingly candid in comments made Sunday morning. Never afraid to mince words, the outspoken Colombian spoke out on a number of topics, from thoughts on his own progress to his anticipation of finally getting a shot to race at the Nextel Cup level.

Greg Biffle Ready To Handle New Crew Chief in 2007

Avondale, Ariz.ย – It was announced this week that Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Roush Racing car, will be paired with a new crew chief next season as part of a multi-car crew chief swap at Roush. Pat Tryson, currently crew chief for the No. 6 team and driver Mark Martin, will be joining Biffle next season, replacing current crew chief Doug Richert.