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Beth Lunkenheimer

Driver Review: Ricky Rudd

Driver Review: Ricky Rudd

*Ricky Rudd* *2007 Ride:* No. 88 Yates Racing Ford - February to July; No. 88 Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Ford - July to November *2007 Primary Sponsor:* Snickers *2007 Owner:* Robert Yates *2007 Crew Chief:* Butch Hylton *Stats:* 31 Races, 0 Wins, 0 Top 5s, 1 Top 10, 33rd in points. *High Point:* In what turned out to be his only Top 10 finish of the season, Rudd started and finished the Coca Cola 600 in seventh place. A big gamble on fuel mileage allowed Rudd to be in the right place at the right time to gain track position while other drivers had to pit for a splash of gas to make it to the finish. "I was having to save gas so much the last couple of laps," Rudd said. "We obviously didn't have a winning car, but we knew we had a top-12, top-15 car." Read More »

Driver Review : Kurt Busch

Driver Review : Kurt Busch

*2007 Ride:* No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge *2007 Primary Sponsor:* Miller Lite *2007 Owner:* Roger Penske *2007 Crew Chief:* Roy McCauley, Troy Raker, Pat Tryson *Stats:* 36 Races, 2 Wins, 6 Top 5s, 14 Top 10s, 7th in points. *High Point:* Making the chase seemed almost impossible after a 100-point penalty assessed by NASCAR following a pit-road incident with Tony Stewart's car. Busch ran his No. 2 Dodge right into the side of Stewart, forcing jackman Jason Lee to jump up on the hood of the car to avoid being hit. Following the 13th race, Busch found himself tied for 17th with Greg Biffle, 740 points back from leader Jeff Gordon. Read More »

Running Their Mouth : Ford 400

"I have a great race team. I really feel like I let these guys down [all season long]. We lost a lot of close races this year, so it feels great to win one ... and win a close one. Congratulations to Jimmie and Rick Hendrick and those guys. I want to thank DeWalt, USG, R&L Truck Carriers, and all of our sponsors that make this happen. It was an awesome run today." _Matt Kenseth_ "It was a great run tonight for the Miller Lite Dodge. We feel like we went out with a bang with this good car. We came up just a bit shy, but overall [it's] just a great season for us, to win a couple races and be in contention at a lot of race tracks. We finished seventh overall [in points]; this team deserves it. We worked really hard, and hopefully, we will carry this [momentum] right on in to Daytona." _Kurt Busch, finished 2nd_ Read More »

Tracking the Trucks : Ford 200

*In a Nutshell:* Johnny Benson took the checkered flag 0.600 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch to win the Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Friday night. A late spin by Chris Jones set the field up for a green/white/checkered finish for the sixth time in 2007; on the restart, Benson took the lead coming to the white flag and held off Busch for the victory. Rick Crawford, Kevin Harvick, and Jason Leffler rounded out the Top 5 finishers. Behind them, Ron Hornaday, Jr. finished 7th to clinch the 2007 Truck Series title over Mike Skinner; Skinner had mechanical problems with the left rear wheel of his Toyota, went behind the wall for repairs and wound up 35th, handing the title to his rival by 54 points. *Who Should Have Won: Kyle Busch.* Busch started 14th, and looked like he might struggle most of the race early on. A round of green flag pit stops put him a lap down, but the driver of the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet got it back through a timely yellow flag; after that, he went on to lead 69 laps. However, the poor luck of a green/white/checkered kept Busch from winning his third race in four starts; with the Trucks bunched up at the finish, he was far too loose to hold Benson back for the win. Read More »

Tearing Apart the Trucks : The Final Showdown

This is it. This is what you've been waiting all season for. Tonight, someone is going to be crowned the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series Champion. In the very first "battle of the grandfathers" Ron Hornaday, Jr. and Mike Skinner will face off for the final time. Going into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Skinner holds only a slim 29-point advantage over Hornaday, Jr. Mike Skinner found himself tied for the points lead after just the second race of the season, and he spent the following 14 races atop the standings. Prior to the running of the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 200 at Gateway International Raceway, the driver of the No. 5 Toyota Tundra held a 92 point lead over Ron Hornaday, Jr, but a shredded tire relegated Skinner to a 28th place finish. That gave Hornaday, Jr. his first lead of the season by just four points. Read More »

Running Their Mouth : Checker Auto Parts 500K

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_ Read More »

Tracking the Trucks : Casino Arizona 150

*In a Nutshell:* Kyle Busch took the checkered flag ahead of Ron Hornaday, Jr. at Phoenix International Raceway Friday night. Busch held onto the lead following a late race red-flag, the second of the night, to win the Casino Arizona 150. Mike Bliss, Jason Leffler and Kevin Harvick rounded out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won:* Mike Bliss. Mike Bliss pitted once on Lap 55 and managed to run up front most of the evening. A large number of cautions helped to stretch fuel mileage for the No. 4 team enough so they could make it on fuel. Following the eleventh caution, Bliss spun the tires, opening up the door for Kyle Busch to take the lead. Bliss ended up finishing third. *Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race* *1. Did Mike Skinner make the right decision to not race hard?* Read More »

Running Their Mouth : Dickies 500

"That was tough racing. Matt was crowding me and I was trying to move him up a little bit and we were doing all that at 190 miles an hour. It was pretty intense. I think I was too focused on the prize and I was pretty crossed up a couple of times. I do know we're racing for the championship and now we have control of it, I guess." _Jimmie Johnson_ "We just flat out got beat [Sunday]. We just weren't very good right from the start. There at the end was the best we were all day and night. We made the most of it. It was a disappointing day, but I'm happy for Jimmie and those guys. They did an awesome job." _Jeff Gordon, finished 7th_ Read More »

Tracking the Trucks : Silverado 350K

*In a Nutshell:* Ted Musgrave took the checkered flag under caution ahead of Brendan Gaughan to win his first race since 2005 in St. Louis. Musgrave survived a green-white-checkered finish in the Silverado 350K at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night that saw the two frontrunners, Chad McCumbee and Jack Sprague, wreck each other shortly after taking the green flag. Mike Skinner, Mike Bliss and Rick Crawford rounded out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won:* Mike Skinner. Both Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday, Jr. had very strong trucks Friday night. Skinner scored his tenth pole of the season, tying the record he set during his 1995 championship season. Skinner led early before relinquishing the lead to Kyle Busch. Read More »

Tearing Apart the Trucks : Wyler and Gaughan Join Forces

It's no secret it takes money to succeed in NASCAR. Typically a larger team with more resources at hand has more success than a small team. Perhaps that's why Craftsman Truck Series owners Jeff Wyler and Michael Gaughan have joined forces. Earlier this week, the two announced the formation of Wyler-Gaughan Racing, which will field two full-time truck teams in 2008. The team will attempt to qualify for at least six Sprint Cup races as well. Read More »