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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In The Chase: 2007 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Edition

The halfway point of the Chase at Lowe's brought with it a reality check to several men no longer in the hunt for a championship. For drivers like Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, and Kevin Harvick, their one-time title dreams turned into nightmares filled with enough broken parts and pieces to start a junkyard. On the contrary, for others it was a case of too little, too late, as strong runs by Jeff Burton and Kyle Busch didn't even make a dent in deficiencies that seem far too steep to overcome. The fact they survived the 1.5-mile Beast of the Southeast was impressive enough, though; a hard tire and an even tougher racing surface made it difficult for even the best of the Nextel Cup faithful to keep all four wheels underneath them. In the end, the only one capable of taming it was a certain Rainbow Warrior, surviving a late race scare to pick up all the fuel out of his tank and score a second straight victory on the season.

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Jeff Gordon vs. Matt Kenseth: The Razor-Thin Line Between Chase Success… And Lack Thereof

Take a look at Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth. One is spending this Monday morning relishing the glory of a title clearly within their grasp; the other is shaking his head at a championship bid gone painfully sour. Without question, their two Chases couldn't be more different, or could they?

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Bubble Breakdown: Dave Blaney Continues Hot Streak, Carries Toyota Banner Back into Top 35

It's been a difficult second half of the season for Dave Blaney and the No. 22 team; they're busy jockeying for the 35th and final "locked in" spot in car owner points with the No. 21 team and their driver combo of Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader. But last week, Blaney had his best finish of the year, surviving a hairy Talladega race to finish third and build momentum he carried over to the following week at Lowe's. Finishing sixth, his second consecutive top 10 and his third consecutive top 15 gave the No. 22 some distance from a handful of cars chasing him. Now, for the first time in this stretch of the season, Blaney finally has breathing room, moving into 34th in the standings, 39 points ahead of 35th and a crucial 148 ahead of 36th.

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10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

1. Lucky at Lowe's - Jeff Gordon is a great racecar driver, but even the best sometimes need a bit of luck, as Gordon acknowledged in his post-race comments from Victory Lane: "I can't tell you how many times we tried to give this one away. I was having trouble with the [fuel] pickup on the banking. Even on the last [restart], the tires spun so bad, Clint Bowyer could have gone right by me." Gordon pulled out the win despite two cautions and a red flag in the last 16 laps of the race, a green-white-checkered finish, an almost-empty gas tank, and a group of talented hard chargers right behind him, including Kyle Busch, Bowyer, Ryan Newman, and Carl Edwards.

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Nextel Cup Rookie Report: AJ Allmendinger Aces the 2007 Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s

AJ Allmendinger started just 30th for Saturday night's race, but there was no need for Team Red Bull to be concerned... he wouldn't stay there for long. Powering his Camry into the top 20 by lap 60, both driver and team proved early that they would be a force to be reckoned with. The No. 84's progress, however, became hindered soon after once he dropped a lap down to the leaders, a setback which could have proved costly long-term. But that's when Lady Luck finally shined her good graces on this team, as Allmendinger was the beneficiary of the "Lucky Dog" award on the lap 119 caution for debris; just like that, he was back on pace with the leaders in what would prove to be a crucial turning point.

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Busch Series Breakdown: 2007 Dollar General 300 at Charlotte

The Busch Series was once again the playground of the Buschwhackers. Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards dueled at the front of the pack for much of the first two-thirds of the race. Biffle took the lead at the beginning of the race as Edwards was working his way up through the front of the pack from his fifth-place starting position. Kasey Kahne briefly took the lead and then lost it to Biffle who continued to lead until lap 59. At that point Edwards took the point and battled back and forth with Biffle until lap 129 when Clint Bowyer assumed the point. Biffle led one more lap on lap 139, but lost it to Jeff Burton, who led the remainder of the race to capture his 26th career Busch Series victory.

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Martin Truex Jr. Joins the Philanthropic Side of NASCAR

Saturday at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. announced that he is beginning a new charitable organization to help out needy kids in both his home state of New Jersey and his current home of Mooresville, N.C. Truex wants to take advantage of his position within NASCAR and his success in life in order to give back to his community and share the blessings that he has been afforded. The foundation will be focused on helping kids who are in need and could benefit from a little aid of some kind.

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A Synopsis of the 2007 Bank of America 500 Drivers’ Meeting

As part of the coverage of the Bank of America 500, Frontstretch attended the drivers' meeting before the race. We realize that this is something that the average fan is not afforded the opportunity to do, so in an effort to take you to places that you don't normally get to go, here is a quick synopsis of what occurs behind the doors of the drivers' meeting.

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Passion Fuels Michael Waltrip’s Past, Present and Future

The year was 2002. It was my 27th birthday. My father was receiving the Mayor's Award of Excellence for community service. Darrell Waltrip was there too, accepting the award for excellence in sports. Each recipient stood and spoke and, while I was very proud of my father and felt him to be more than deserving, it was Darrell's speech that spoke directly to me. "Find your passion," he told us that night. Whether that be ballet or racing, teaching or writing, the path to being happy and successful is to zero in on what you do well and follow it.

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