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Race Trax: Banquet 400

*On Track* The Banquet 400 is the 29th race on the 36-race NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Schedule and the third in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The Cup Series visits the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway for the only time in 2006. Kansas has hosted the Nextel Cup Series since 2001, and Jeff Gordon was the first driver to win in Cup competition at the speedway.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans : Kansas Edition

With the tight quarters of the Monster Mile behind them, the Chasers enter their third week of competition at Kansas Speedway Sunday. After last week's race at Dover, there was plenty of movement in the point standings thanks to ill-timed cautions, poorly calculated fuel mileage, and simply some plain, good ol' fashion bad luck. All was not all doom and gloom at Dover, though...especially if your name was Jeff. (Jeff) Burton finally earned his first win of the year, and (Jeff) Gordon moved up to second in the standings on the strength of his second straight third place finish. So, who will follow the yellow brick road to glory this weekend, and who will get caught up in a tornado of disaster? Let's figure out the right picks for your fantasy team…

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Voices From The Heartland

_Note From the Editors : Don't be alarmed, fans; Jeff Meyer's still very much with us! His Voices From The Heartland column will simply appear Friday this week instead of its usual Thursday slot._

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What’s the Call : Vickers and Gordon: Teammates Seeing Red (Bull)?

*This Week's Question: Jeff Gordon said that Brian Vickers wasn't really his teammate anymore since he is moving on to Red Bull Racing next year. Should Vickers feel an obligation to help Gordon win a Championship for Hendrick this year when he won't be there after the end of the season?*%{color:green}Amy:% Drivers are paid to race for wins, they've worked for years to do just that. Asking a teammate to finish anywhere but where he and his car are capable of finishing is a slap in the face.%{color:gray}Mike:% Gordon has a point; while blatant team racing goes against every fabric of the sport of NASCAR racing, teammates still have to work for the common good of all involved whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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Scanner Static : Dover cements its place in the Chase

*Q: I've heard some people who want to replace the Dover race with something else because it's not a "Chase-worthy" track. Hello, did they actually watch the race Sunday? That was the best finish to a NASCAR race in quite some time. Is there any way to get both Dover races in the Chase?* _DelaDella_*A:* Asking for both Dover races to be put in the Chase is a little much, but there's no question that Sunday's race was one of the best of the year.

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Top Ten Accusations/Rumors About Richard Childress Racing (This Week)

10. Their engines are sucking air.9. Their tires are bleeding air.8. You will be "wrongfully terminated" from RCR just for uttering the words "sucking" or "bleeding".7. Todd Berrier was secretly sent to the No. 17 garage to "rig" their gas tank to appear 1 gallon fuller than it actually was.

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Mirror Driving : Is RCR for real? Who actually deserves to drive the No. 6?

*After their performance the first two races, is Richard Childress Racing now the team to beat in this Chase? If that's true, who's got the upper hand - Jeff Burton or Kevin Harvick?**%{color:purple}Toni:%* They are making a statement but I don't know that I'd toss Kenseth or Gordon out the window just yet. Hamlin either for that matter. *%{color:brown}Jeff:%* Yes, they may be the ones to beat, but as far as an upper hand, that will/would change after any given week. *%{color:green}Amy:%* I wouldn't count out Hendrick and Roush just yet...but of those two, I'd say Burton.

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Tony Stewart : In Unfamiliar Territory

First, let me preface the following article with what appears to be the required disclaimer before voicing any criticism(s) of reigning Nextel Cup Champion Tony Stewart; "Don't get me wrong, I think Tony Stewart is a great driver, but…"Tony Stewart, in spite of having participated in the Nextel Cup Chase to the Championship in the first two seasons of the format, seems completely lost as to how to compete as a non-contender for the coveted title. After threading his way through the field for a well earned second place finish at last weeks race in Loudon, New Hampshire to kick off the 2006 Chase to the Championship, immediately upon exiting his racecar Stewart explained that although he was pleased with his finishing position, "it is a frustrating day when you are racing those guys that are in the top 10 in points. You are just so cautious around them and it is hard to race real hard and be around those guys, worrying about getting into them."

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Becca’s Big Six: Dover Edition

*Who: Martin Truex, Jr.* Well, he's not in the Chase and he's not likely to win Rookie of the Year, so Truex is lucky if the race announcers mention him at all. But he deserves a little recognition after finishing sixth on Sunday from a 33rd-place starting spot ...

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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not In the Chase : Dover Edition

The concrete Monster Mile at Dover once again lashed out at the drivers in the Nextel Cup circuit, taking a bite out of some and taking it on the chin from others. Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne were two of the monster's biggest victims this weekend. With finishes of 40th and 38th respectively, they are certainly licking their wounds and are down and possibly out of the Chase fight just two weeks in.

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