Mired deep in the points standings for much of 2007, BAM Racing qualified for 10 of the final 14 races with John Andretti behind the wheel. However, his best finish of the year came at Chicagoland behind the wheel of the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge, the final start in a five-race stint where he subbed for driver-turned TNT broadcaster Kyle Petty.
AJ Allmendinger didn’t enjoy many of the highs he hoped for as a rookie on the Nextel Cup circuit, but there were a few golden nuggets in ’07 for the former Champ Car driver.
1. Banner Brainstorming – Mike Helton said in New York last week that 2007 was a “banner year” for NASCAR. Which makes me wonder, if you were designing a banner to summarize NASCAR’s season, what would it say? Suggestions welcome.
Greg Biffle’s only win of 2007 came relatively late in the season – race number 29 of 36 – and was marred by controversy.
10. Kevin Harvick – “Finally, I’ve decided to join the Ricky Rudd Fan Club. I’ll miss you, Ricky!”
10. The season is NOT 37 races long!
Jimmie Johnson took his second consecutive Nextel Cup title Sunday, joining Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon as the sixth driver in the modern era to put together back-to-back title runs. Should Johnson now be considered among the best drivers in the modern era?
0.852 – Matt Kenseth’s margin of victory over Kurt Busch in the Ford 400 (in seconds).
1. Matt’s Momentum – Matt Kenseth has had a great second half of the Chase, posting finishes of fifth, fourth, second, third, and first in the last five races – an average finish of 3.0. Six races ago, Kenseth was 12th in the points – Sunday, he finished the season in fourth. With all the talk about how critical it is to carry momentum to Daytona, you have to figure Kenseth must be feeling pretty good about the ’08 season ahead.
Dave Blaney not only held onto the final bubble position, he made a statement, carrying the Toyota banner once again with a solid 13th-place finish. It was the team’s best run in over a month and moved them above the No. 45 – who clinched a spot in the Top 35 last week at Phoenix – into 34th in car owner points. To see who locked up a spot for the first five races of 2008 – as well as a recap of what happened around the Top 35 in 2007 – check out this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.