Recent Posts

Johnny Benson Didn’t Get The Memo

I learned something about Johnny Benson this week. It seems the guy is quickly becoming a dinosaur, obsolete within a sport that is evolving in a direction he is neither able or willing to keep up with.Thank goodness he's still here.Apparently, the veteran Truck Series driver is not up to speed with what can only be titled the "new" NASCAR. That is, a NASCAR that endorses "team racing" as a legitimate and increasingly integral part of its sanctioned racing events. This became evident last Friday night during the running of the Craftsman Truck Series Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, when Benson passed his Bill Davis Racing teammate Mike Skinner to better his finishing position. The supposed problem with that? Skinner is a championship contender, running neck-and-neck with Ron Hornaday, Jr. for a title in which every point will make a difference. That Benson would have the audacity to pass a competitor in such a race stirred astonishment within the SPEED TV broadcasting booth, as well as obvious displeasure from his teammate.And that, in turn, stirred displeasure from me.

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Top Ten NASCAR Headlines You Won’t Be Seeing Anytime Soon

10. *Jeff Gordon Rethinking Hiring Practices* _Wait - on second thought, that one isn't so farfetched ..._9. *Kenseth, Edwards To Open Boxing School*8. *Dale Junior On 2008: Just Because There Won't Be Bud ON The Car, Doesn't Mean There Won't Be Bud IN The Car!*7. *Johnson to Sit Out Homestead: Says After All Jeff Has Done For Him, He Deserves It More*6. *Brian France Leaves NASCAR To Open Driving School*

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Did You Notice? The Best Sophomore Class In History? Thoughts From Phoenix … And Beyond

*Did You Notice?* … That *Ken Schrader* popped up over in the Gillett Evernham camp this weekend? Patrick Carpentier mentioned him as one of the drivers most responsible for allowing the rookie to adapt to the track so quickly. That could only mean good things for the veteran; Schrader currently is without a ride in any of NASCAR's top three series, and could benefit immensely from developing a relationship with Evernham and Dodge. Even though the 52-year-old struggled throughout the course of the season with the Wood Brothers - he hasn't won a race since 1991 - you'd like to think he'd have a few more NASCAR starts left in him, given the right opportunity and a limited schedule.*Did You Notice?* … Brian France tried to justify NASCAR's declining TV Ratings by saying that TV ratings are down for "almost everything?" Um, last I heard, ratings weren't down for the NFL, nor were they for the Oscars this year … and a double-digit percentage drop in audience for the Chase doesn't exactly fall in line with other declines. Even in this age of 1,000,000 options, the basic principles of sports and entertainment still apply; if you put a quality product out there, people will watch. Right now, the sport we all love isn't doing that on a consistent basis, and how someone could be so blinded as to not acknowledge that is beyond me.

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Bye-Bye, Busch Series : Paying Tribute To One Of NASCAR’s Loyal Sponsors

As the curtain closes on the 2007 NASCAR season, there's many drivers and teams that will say goodbye to the glare of the public spotlight - and hello to the greener pastures of other dreams, retirement beckoning them elsewhere.But in particular, there's one sponsor whose departure may affect the future of the sport for several years to come, its legacy left ingrained every Sunday afternoon ... a company who half of the current Nextel Cup field can thank for giving them the chance to succeed in stock car racing.25 years ago, Anheuser-Busch decided to take a chance and put their backing behind a newly branded series that NASCAR was debuting. At the time, the Late Model Sportsman Division was undergoing major changes - changes that would ultimately turn the series into the second most popular brand of NASCAR product. After much negotiation, the Busch Series was formed; and over time, the division was shaped to become the number one minor league feeder system for Nextel Cup veterans. However, there is no underestimating its place in history, especially the longterm contribution that Anheuser-Busch made by being the name on the series throughout the last 25 years.

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Running Their Mouth : Checker Auto Parts 500K

"I am shaking my head too, with [crew chief] Chad [Knaus]. I don't know what to think about the success we have had this year. Great race. Great pit work. I cannot believe ... 10 wins in one year. It is unbelievable." _Jimmie Johnson_"Whatever they've [Jimmie Johnson's team] got, we're missing; we know everything they've got, but man, we're just not hitting on it. And it's unfortunate. I thought this was our year to get another one [championship] but we're just coming up short here at the crucial time." _Jeff Gordon, finished 10th_

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in the Chase: Phoenix Edition

As the song by Herman's Hermits says, "second verse, same as the first." Well, in this case, the third and fourth verse are the same, too. Jimmie Johnson continued to make the Chase a bore by scoring his fourth straight win in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500K, extending his lead to 86 over Jeff Gordon with just one race remaining on the schedule. But even with this second championship seemingly in hand, Johnson still has to survive at Homestead before he gets his hands on the big check. And while all eyes will firmly be on Johnson and Gordon, there are other drivers in the Chase peaking late in the season who are looking to end the year with a win.So which drivers are actually looking forward to racing 400 miles on Sunday and which ones simply see it as 267 laps to run before taking off for vacation? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not in the Chase to find out.

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Numbers Game : Checker Auto Parts 500K

*0.870* Jimmie Johnson's margin of victory over Greg Biffle in the Checker Auto Parts 500K. (in seconds)*1* Car dropped to the rear of the field before the start of racing at Phoenix. (No. 83 - Brian Vickers for an engine change)*1st* Bud Pole of 2007 for Carl Edwards after taking the top starting spot in Phoenix, with a speed of 132.773 mph.*2* Number of times Jimmie Johnson led the Checker Auto Parts 500K.

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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not : Outside The Chase

With just two races left on the Nextel Cup slate, the open roads of the great Southwest appeared the perfect place for a change of pace. After all, the subset of three dozen drivers outside the Chase had won just once during the playoffs, and you'd like to think the odds were in their favor heading to a one-mile short track - especially while toting the unpredictable Car Of Tomorrow in their wake.However, that chance at redemption quickly became a desert mirage. While admirable performances were put in by a handful of teams, Sunday's final results leaned heavily in favor of the playoff participants - again. For the second straight week, eight of the Top 10 finishers were also among the Top 12 in Nextel Cup points, making it difficult to argue that any of the Chasers didn't deserve to be ranked amongst NASCAR's elite.But what about those drivers left behind? Now, just one race remains for any of them to salvage seasons that clearly didn't turn out the way they intended. With time running out, who can defy the odds, putting together their best impression of a Happy Ending? And which teams have put themselves in a hole too deep to dig out of … not just for this year, but the beginning of the next? Read on to find out Who's Hot and Who's Not … outside the Chase for the Championship...

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2007 Chase Challenge Standings

*Final Standings* If you are having trouble viewing this in Firefox, “click here.”:https://frontstretch.com/fantasy/aftermiami.html

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One Point To Ponder … Johnson’s Dominance

Sunday's sold-out Checker Auto Parts 500 in Phoenix had all the makings of high drama.Instead, it became a NASCAR rerun.For the fourth straight week, Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe's team crushed the competition, turning whatever problems came their way into opportunities to win another race and, it now appears, another championship.Ironically, Johnson is the first driver to put together a four-race win streak since Jeff Gordon - the teammate he's currently beating out for the title - back in 1998.That year, Gordon earned his second consecutive championship (his third overall), claiming the Cup in 1997 and again in '98.Now, almost 10 years later, Gordon's apprentice-turned-adversary is poised to do the same.

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