Martin Truex Jr. saved his best for last. At Homestead in November, Truex led 27 laps and came home a career-best second in the final race of the Cup season.
As Jimmie Johnson turned to make his move on Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers went with him, except he wasn’t clear of Johnson as he tried to draft behind him.
Kenny Wallace had to qualify on speed all season in underfunded, underpowered equipment with a first-year team; given this, 17 starts was not a terrible total.
Ironically, the high point of the season for Tony Stewart came late, when he won three races during the playoffs after getting knocked out of Chase contention.
David Stremme managed to break the top 15. He finished 11th at New Hampshire in July, then ended the year on a strong note with another 11th at Homestead.
No new Top 10 this week, so enjoy this classic from the archives about Tony Stewart’s rough Sunday at Dover during this year’s Chase for the Championship.
Earning the third starting spot for the Daytona 500 with a Duel win, Elliott Sadler went on to lead five laps in the race before crossing the finish line in fourth.
Ken Schrader and company had their moments, and a nice run at Richmond in September was one of those bright spots.
At Michigan in June, threatening weather caused crew chief Jimmy Elledge to gamble, forcing Reed Sorenson to stay out on worn tires to try and steal the win.
Kyle Petty’s best finish on the year was an eighth at Bristol in the spring, but the high point might have come after he fought his way back into the Top 35.