By Jenna Fryer
AP Auto Racing Writer
The 10 drivers competing in NASCAR’s Chase for the Nextel Cup championship, in order of points standings:
DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
ADJUSTED CHASE POINTS: 5,050
TEAM: Roush Racing
HOMETOWN: Cambridge, Wis.
CAR: No. 17 DeWalt Tools Ford
CREW CHIEF: Robbie Reiser
BEST CHAMPIONSHIP FINISH: 1st (2003)
OUTLOOK: Kenseth, the driver many believe forced the Chase format because of his lackluster 2003 title run, has momentum on his side as he tries to win a championship under the new system. He’s got four wins this season and has turned it up a notch heading into the Chase, which begins this weekend in New Hampshire. Kenseth leads all Chase drivers with an average finish of 10.9 at NHIS.
SPEAKING: “We’ve stayed focused this year on one race at a time, and that’s how it’s going to stay this week and for the nine after that. Everyone seems to be putting a lot of pressure on this weekend, and I don’t necessarily see it. I mean, yes, you want to start the Chase with a good finish, but if you don’t, you still have nine more to make up for it,” Kenseth said.
DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
ADJUSTED CHASE POINTS: 5,045
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
HOMETOWN: El Cajon, Calif.
CAR: No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet
CREW CHIEF: Chad Knaus
BEST CHAMPIONSHIP FINISH: 2nd (2003, 2004)
OUTLOOK: Johnson, who has four wins this season, led the points for most of the year. A perpetual title contender, he’s hoping this is the season he finally finishes the job. He faded late last year and fell to fifth in the finale after two consecutive runner-up finishes.
SPEAKING: “I think I have at least as good or even better chance to win a championship now as I ever have. So does everyone else. It will come down to who can deal with everything and have the best car. If you get off to a slow start in the Chase, if you aren’t a strong team, the pressure of the Chase can knock the wind out of your sails and hurt you,” Johnson said.
By Jenna Fryer
- Auto Racing
Terry Labonte: The Ice Man goeth
By Mike Harris
Auto Racing Editor
First, he was Texas Terry, the smooth, young driver from Corpus Christi with all the potential in the world. Then he became the Ice Man, known for his cool demeanor and unflappable personality.
Chase too close to call; 4 races left
HAMPTON, Ga. — Even Mark Martin is feeling optimistic these days. The longtime NASCAR star heads into Sunday’s Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway seventh in the season standings, 96 points behind leader Matt Kenseth with four races remaining in the Chase for the championship.
Johnson back in title hunt; Chase driver capsules
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Grown-up Gordon reunites with Ford
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Burton maintains lead in NASCAR Chase for the Nextel Cup
Jeff Burton maintained his lead in the NASCAR Chase for the Nextel Cup championship with a total of 5,511 points. Denny Hamlin is 69 points behind.
Burton leads in NASCAR's Chase points for 1st time since 1999
Jeff Burton made a big jump up the ladder in NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup to move into first place. It's the first time he's been on top of the points race since 1999.
Top 10 in Chase for the Cup
Matt Kenseth leads the Top 10 drivers who will be competing during the season's final races in the NASCAR Chase for the Nextel Cup championship.
Heart problems don't slow race driver Muldoon
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After blowing two engines, Marlin leaves Watkins Glen frustrated
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — After blowing an engine in practice and another while qualifying, Sterling Marlin was more than ready to say goodbye to Watkins Glen International.
Sharon Speedway history in print
By Cary Snyder
Herald Staff Writer
Ron Pollock spent countless hours reading newspaper archives and pouring over microfilm to compile information on the races that have been held at the Sharon Speedway since it opened in 1931.
Stewart needs to practice what he preaches
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Tony Stewart is many things, but the Emily Post of NASCAR etiquette is most certainly not one of them. Stewart wants to preach a give-and-take attitude on the race track. Yet when it comes time to practice it, NASCAR’s champion only wants to take as much as he can get.
Childress team is surging
By MIKE HARRIS
AP Motorsports Writer
Richard Childress never got to the point where he hated coming to the race track, but there were times in the past five years when he rather would have been hunting or fishing.
Stewart suddenly in Chase trouble
Tony Stewart once said he should be fired if he failed to make NASCAR’s Chase for the championship.
5 ways to make The Chase better
By Jenna Fryer
AP Auto Racing Writer
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Less than three years into the Chase for the championship, NASCAR chairman Brian France wants to tweak his title-crowning format.
NASCAR format to be changed
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR chairman Brian France promised slight changes to the sport’s championship format, hoping to add more drama to the 10-race title hunt.
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