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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2006 Driver Review: Scott Wimmer

Scott Wimmer was picked up by Richard Childress Racing in 2007, a deal which included running the final race of the Nextel Cup season at Homestead. Driving the No. 33 Holiday Inn Chevrolet, Wimmer justified the signing by posting his best result of 2006. Starting 24th, he steadily progressed to the front all race long to finish just outside the top 10 in 12th place.

2006 Driver Review: Brian Vickers

As Jimmie Johnson turned to make his move on Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers went with him, except he wasn’t fully clear of Johnson as he tried to draft behind him. The two touched, Johnson turned into Junior, and a last-lap melee ensued at the front of the pack. It was a wreck which Vickers was able to drive straight through in order to claim his first Nextel Cup win

2006 Driver Review: Tony Stewart

Ironically, the high point of the season for Tony Stewart came late in the year, when he won three races during the playoffs after getting knocked out of Chase contention during the last race of the regular season. When the playoffs began, Smoke was the first driver on the outside looking in, pigeonholed in 11th place but with a sizable lead over 12th on back. That meant he now had nothing to lose by going out and running for the win each week.

2006 Driver Review: Reed Sorenson

At Michigan in June, threatening weather caused crew chief Jimmy Elledge to make a late gamble, forcing Reed Sorenson to stay out on worn tires to try and steal the win. While the plan didn’t work to a T, Sorenson still came across the line in fifth place by the time the skies opened up on lap 129, giving him what would turn out to be his best finish of the year.

2006 Driver Review: Kyle Petty

Kyle Petty’s best finish on the year was an eighth at Bristol in the spring, but the high point of the season might have come after he fought his way back into the Top 35 in owner points to end the season after falling approximately 100 points behind Sterling Marlin’s team. The late-season surge seems to be tied into an in-house move that clearly worked in Petty’s favor.