Today’s Season Preview Topic: As always, 2008 will be a year when several driver contracts are on the verge of expiring. So, which driver starts the season on the “hottest seat,” and why?
Without a doubt, edging out Kyle Busch by 0.005 seconds in the Pepsi 400 was the highlight of the 2007 season for McMurray. After being sent to the back of the field for passing under the yellow line, he made his way back through the pack and – with a well-placed bump or two from teammate Carl Edwards – was able to push ahead of Busch for his second career victory, snapping a 166-race winless drought. McMurray also found success early in the season, scoring three straight top-10 finishes in late March and early April to collect a total of five top 10s in the first nine races of the year.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson has top-10 finishes in four of his six starts at Homestead, including a second-place result scored here in 2004. For those looking for a little drama, Johnson did crash out here in 2005 en route to 40th place.
if you’re reading this now, your team is likely among the Johnsons and Gordons of the world, racing into the weekend with a chance at championship glory. This is your last opportunity to put your best foot forward; are you ready to take home the league trophy? You will be – after reading the expert advice contained in this week’s edition of Picks ‘N’ Pans.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson came home second in this race last year, and has four straight top-10 finishes at Phoenix. He also finished second here in 2003.
NASCAR heads to the Desert Southwest for their second trip to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, as the Chase for the Nextel Cup has winnowed down to merely a two-horse race. While six drivers are still mathematically alive, just Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon remain with a realistic chance to take home the trophy come November 18th. Hopefully, your team’s in the same boat as those two, battling hard for a title after 34 races filled with your fair share of ups and downs.
Jeff Gordon – Quick; Gordon hasn’t won at which two tracks currently on the Cup schedule? That’s right… Homestead and Texas. Gordon did finish second at TMS in 2002 and has top-10 finishes in six of his 13 Cup starts here; however, his average finish in Fort Worth remains a paltry 16th.
Jeff Gordon – In 30 Cup starts at Atlanta, the points leader has posted four victories and 18 top-10 finishes. However, he finished 12th in the race this spring.
Jeff Gordon – In the last nine Cup races at Martinsville, Gordon has won four times, finished second twice, and never finished outside the top 10. In 29 Martinsville career starts, Gordon has won seven times, and is averaging a seventh-place finish.
Lowe’s Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval that has a reputation for going fast and wrecking hard; Saturday night’s race proved no exception to that rule. As such, it’s time to take a look at how a myriad of non-Chasers performed under the lights in NASCAR’s hometown of Charlotte, N.C. Let’s take a look at Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not, non-Chase style…