Recent Posts

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans : New Hampshire Edition

And then... there were twelve. Now that the field for the Chase has been decided, all the questions of who will make it in and who will fall out have been answered. But plenty of questions still remain ahead, especially for fantasy team owners. Normally, there are a few drivers who make the Chase that fall on hard times early, while other drivers left behind realize they have nothing to lose .... laying it all on the line. Well, to take your Fantasy team to the next level in the next ten races, you need to be able to separate the contenders from the pretenders...luckily for you, that's what we're here for! So, which drivers will help you gain championship glory and which ones will leave you coasting until the end of the season as you start your own playoff run? Read this week's Fantasy Picks ‘N' Pans to find out.

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Handicapping The Chase : Part II

This Sunday, just twelve men will take the green flag at New Hampshire with their dream of a 2007 Cup title intact. It's been a remarkable season for them to get this far, as both consistency and talent have put them in position to achieve the ultimate goal. But of course, from the twelve only one can emerge to watch their dream turn into reality. Who will that person be? We'll try and figure that out over the next two days, handicapping the Chase field to dissect what drivers stand a chance at the trophy…and which ones are better off walking away. So, without further ado…let's finish off a look at how these men will finish, tackling the predicted final standings from the bottom up. If you didn't see Part I, shame on you! Click "here": https://frontstretch.com/tbowles/11991/ to get the lowdown on who will finish 7th through 12th.

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Top Ten Reasons Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Didn’t Make the Chase

10. After all that's gone on at DEI this year, Junior just didn't want the pressure. Now, he can just race! 9. Didn't want stepmom to have the satisfaction. 8. Didn't want to have to leave his Championship Trophy at the "Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Museum" that will be fielding cars in 2008. 7. Figured some of his winnings would be tied up in the lawsuit and used to pay off Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek.

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Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Martin Truex, Jr. : How To Handle The Chase for The Championship

The 2007 Chase for The Nextel Cup is finally upon us. With the "drama" that surrounded last week's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond a thing of the past, most fans have now begun to speculate how the twelve title contenders are shaping up to make their run at the title. There is, however, another budding story in the garage as the dust begins to settle. While Dale Earnhardt, Jr. missed making the big show for the second time in three years, his teammate, two-time Busch Grand National Champion Martin Truex, Jr. has made it instead, getting over the hump in just his sophomore season behind the wheel of a Cup car. Heading into the first race of the Chase at Loudon, New Hampshire, Truex sits sixth in points; the seeding system NASCAR has instituted for 2007 has him and five others sitting just 50 points out of the championship lead. It's a track the No. 1 team is happy to see; Truex led 46 laps en route to a third-place run at Loudon back on July 1st, just a month after his first career Nextel Cup victory at Dover. That dominating performance at The Monster Mile (216 out of 400 laps led) will bode well for him, as it happens to be the next race in the Chase after Loudon.

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Give Credit to Sprint / Nextel In AT&T Sponsorship Resolution

_I hold in my heart the belief that reasonable people will come to a reasonable solution, and hopefully we can get there sooner than later._ - Jeff Burton With a compromise agreement being reached last week that effectively puts to rest the ongoing legal battle between NASCAR, AT&T, and Cup Series sponsor Sprint / Nextel, it appears that reasonableness has indeed won out. The topic, though generally considered a "sideshow" to the competition that attracts millions of fans to the sport, was nonetheless of significant importance to all parties concerned. It's an issue that certainly needed to come to a quick resolution; but make no mistake about it, chalk this one up as a win for AT&T, NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing. The agreement to put the wireless provider back on the car is perfect timing; it allows RCR to adorn the No. 31 with the contested AT&T logos just as the Chase for the Championship begins.

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Mirror Driving : Could Dale Jr. Still Make The Chase, Will Open Wheelers Ever Dominate A Cup Race, And Did AT & T Get Put In Its Place?

*In the midst of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. overkill, the 12-car Chase field was set in stone on Saturday night. Looking at the final list of contenders, are there any surprises you see on that list? Anyone you think doesn't deserve to be running for the title, and if so, who would you replace him with?* Amy: Wait...you mean there were other drivers in that race? Really? Vito: Yeah. And 5th-12th do _not_ deserve to be there. In the new system, everybody pretty much is a wildcard. Amy: I agree with Vito. Tom: Eh, I think that everyone earned their right to be in this thing based on the system NASCAR has. That having been said, for all intents and purposes Jeff Gordon would have won the title this season. No question.

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Handicapping The Chase : Part I

This Sunday, just twelve men will take the green flag at New Hampshire with their dream of a 2007 Cup title intact. It's been a remarkable season for them to get this far, as both consistency and talent have put them in position to achieve the ultimate goal. But of course, from the twelve only one can emerge to watch their dream turn into reality. Who will that person be? We'll try and figure that out over the next two days, handicapping the Chase field to dissect what drivers stand a chance at the trophy…and which ones are better off walking away. So, without further ado…let's look at how these men will finish, tackling the predicted final standings from the bottom up...

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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in the Chase: Richmond Edition

Now that Dale Earnhardt Jr. watch is over, the focus over the last ten races of the year will be on the twelve drivers making a run for the Nextel Cup Championship. With his second straight victory, Jimmie Johnson put the competition on notice that they will have to take on the No. 48 team to take the trophy that they earned last season. But with six of the Chase drivers finishing in the Top 10 at Richmond, they are proving to be up to the challenge. So who left Richmond riding high and ready for battle and which drivers walked away wishing they had a little more time to prepare? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not in the Chase for the Championship. *Hot* *Jimmie Johnson:* After a summertime slump that saw him go 15 races without a win, Johnson has flipped the switch and heads into the Chase as the top seeded driver with six wins; including back to back victories at Fontana and Richmond. The change came after he posted two straight DNF's at Chicago and Indy when he dropped to ninth in the standings. He went on a roll with three straight Top 5s before a mediocre finish at Bristol and followed it up with his two most recent wins. This hot pace will be hard to keep up as the Chase battle brews, but the No. 48 team is serving notice that they will be a force to be reckoned with as they go for two championships in a row.

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Open Wheel Drivers Becoming The Choice Du Jour Of NASCAR Owners…At The Expense Of Everyone Else

On a lazy Sunday afternoon at Chicagoland, one of the most dramatic championships in open wheel history had just reached an eye-popping conclusion, with the third turn of the last lap finally settling a battle that brought excitement to an all-time high. But the 2007 IRL trophy hadn't even been dusted off for its rightful owner, Dario Franchitti, when he was asked the question most racing aficionados already had the answer to: Would he be moving to NASCAR? The Scotsman was noncommittal in his response, but just the hesitation in his voice revealed the answer he's not yet able to say out loud: all indications are the open wheel racer is on his way to the world of stock cars. According to published reports, a five-year offer from Chip Ganassi Racing has been put on the table, and sponsorship is in place for Franchitti to make the jump from IndyCar to a series with just a _little_ different type of chassis. Are you surprised by this? Don't be. If it happens, Franchitti will be just the latest man to make the move over to fendered cars under the NASCAR sanctioning banner, continuing a recent trend of NASCAR owners wooing talent from the suffering world of open wheel. Jacques Villeneuve and Sam Hornish appear destined to make a similar switch to Nextel Cup for 2008; come 2009, Dan Wheldon and Patrick Carpentier will likely join them.

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Running Their Mouth : Chevy Rock & Roll 400

_Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway._ "We didn't have the best car tonight until the very end. It was pretty awesome at the end. I kept telling myself I was in practice... we're off to a good start (to the Chase)." _Jimmie Johnson, winner of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400_ "I'm happy for Jimmie, but I hate that he got those ten points on us. Great run for us (though). I had to settle for what - fourth, I guess. Happy to have Nicorette on the car and hope to help people stop smoking." _Jeff Gordon, finished 4th_

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