Elliott Sadler looked to be on the rise heading into last season, and the Daytona 500 seemed to solidify his up-and-coming status when Sadler finished sixth in the Great American Race.
No one expected such a solid performance from Boris Said in the Daytona 500. Said qualified the No. 60 SoBe No Fear Energy Drink Ford sixth overall, and started the biggest race of the year in the 23rd position following a strong performance in his Gatorade Duel.
In what turned out to be his only top-10 finish of the season, Ricky Rudd started and finished the Coca-Cola 600 in seventh place. A big gamble on fuel mileage allowed Rudd to be in the right place at the right time to gain track position.
While later in the season qualifying would become an issue for the No. 10 team, Scott Riggs started off the year strong, starting in the top 10 in six of the first 10 races.
Although there were a lot of zeros in David Reutimann’s 2007 stat line, the rookie from Zephyrhills, Fla. had plenty of reasons to be encouraged.
If you were a Tony Raines fan, you had to wait a while for success this year; his highest point came eight months after the season began at a most unlikely place, Talladega.
After an off year in 2006, adding another five pole-qualifying efforts to his resume certainly had to be a satisfying personal achievement for the man they call “Flyin’ Ryan.” Ryan Newman has now tallied an incredible 42 top spots in his short 224-race NASCAR Cup career.
Whether it be in the television booth or on the track, 2007 was a forgettable year for Kyle Petty.
Frankly, David Ragan should consider having the opportunity to become a full-time Cup driver his highest point. At the time he was named to replace Mark Martin in the No. 6 last season, Ragan still wasn’t even allowed to race at some of the tracks on the NASCAR circuit due to inexperience.
2007 would’ve been considered a great success for Joe Nemechek – if only he could’ve repeated his Daytona 500 performance every weekend.