NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Who Wins The Chase In ’07? Your Favorite Frontstretch Writers Tell All

Come Sunday, it’s playoff time in the world of NASCAR… and what would playoffs be without predictions? All of us here at Frontstretch got together this week, stared into the crystal ball, and each came up with our own special theory as to how this year’s Chase for the Championship is going to play out. Each writer has picked the finishing order of first through 12th, their “Darkhorse” championship pick, and the best driver not in the Chase who’s threatening to spoil the party altogether – diverting the most attention away from the battle for this year’s title.

Driver Handicaps: 2007 Sylvania 300 at Loudon Edition

Jimmie Johnson – The top seed in the Chase with six wins, Johnson won both NHIS Cup races in 2003 and is averaging an 11th-place finish here after 11 starts.

Handicapping the 2007 Chase: Part II

This Sunday, just 12 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 12 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.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in the Chase: 2007 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond Edition

Now that Dale Earnhardt Jr. watch is over, the focus over the last 10 races of the year will be on the 12 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 in order to take the trophy that they earned last season. But with six of the Chase drivers finishing in the top 10 at Richmond, many others are proving to be up to the challenge of trying to take down the top seed. 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 to find out.

Busch Series Breakdown: 2007 Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond

Leading a race-high 227 of 250 laps, Kyle Busch was up front early and often throughout the Emerson Radio 250 to score his second win of the season. Even when Derrike Cope’s blown engine brought out a red flag, green-white-checker finish to the race, the outcome was never in doubt. Getting exceptional restarts with the No. 5 Sta-Green Chevy all night long, Busch saved his best for last, pulling away with ease on lap 251 to win by 0.868 seconds over point leader Carl Edwards. Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, and Mike Bliss rounded out the top five finishers.

Fanning the Flames: The 2nd Coming of Bobby Ginn? A Word of Warning for Jeff Moorad and Company

Enter Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel, executives with the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball franchise. Following a swift majority buyout of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach’s Hall of Fame Racing team, the two hard-ballers nabbed the No. 1 available free agent on the market in JJ Yeley, and will follow parent-team Joe Gibbs Racing to the Toyota camp at the conclusion of the season. Those are awful big moves in an awful short period of time for two gentlemen that have held the title, “majority owners” for just over one week.

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Richmond Fall Race Edition

Jeff Gordon – Gordon has won here twice, and has top-10 finishes in 17 of 29 starts… but his track record lately at RIR is worrisome. His fourth-place finish in the spring arrested a streak of four straight finishes of 30th or worse, including a disastrous performance in 2005 that locked him out of NASCAR’s “playoff.” Some would argue since Gordon is solidly in the Chase, he has little incentive to finish on top this weekend; however, that also gives him the option to go for the win, something he hasn’t hesitated to do over the past month or so.

Running Their Mouth: 2007 Sharp Aquos 500 at Fontana

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 and capture 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 Sharp Aquos 500 at the California Speedway.

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Fontana Summer Race Edition

Jeff Gordon – Gordon won the inaugural race at Fontana in 1997, and has won two additional Cup races here. He finished second at the track this spring, and has top-five finishes in half of his 14 Cup starts.

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