Could Nascar be in for an unlikely Champion?

From the Crossville Chronicle – Crossville, Tn. Friday September 21, 2007

By Joe Dunn / joe@onpitroad.com
A lot of fans were thinking that Clint Bowyer had ‘backed’ into the Nascar Nextel Cup Chase of the Championship. Despite the fact that he finished the first 26 races ranked 7th in points and easily qualified for the Chase, Bowyer was the lone driver in the Chase without a win in Nascar’s top series.
That all changed when the Chase started last Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway. First Bowyer put his Jack Daniels Chevy on the pole, then he followed that up by leading the most laps (222 of 300) and finally, getting his first win. The win bumped him up eight places from 12th to 4th in the Championship points. Aside from Chase implications, Bowyer’s win also marked the first Car of Tomorrow victory for Richard Childress Racing. Bowyer, like Martin Truex Jr. has spent his time in Cup in the shadow of a popular and successful teammate. Truex broke out of that shadow with his first win at Dover International Speedway in June.
The Chase heads back to the Monster Mile this weekend and Truex is anxious to get back to his Home track, with a new confidence. Since earning that first career win in the season’s 13th event at Dover, Truex has reeled off seven top 10 finishes in his last 14 races.
But probably the biggest news this week are the announcements for the 2008 Nascar Sprint Cup Series. On Tuesday, Budweiser and Gillette-Evernham Racing made it official when they unveiled the Red #9 Budweiser dodge to be driven by Kasey Kahne. “Budweiser has a long and storied history with NASCAR and some of its most successful drivers. We’re excited about Kasey’s ability to add to that outstanding lineage,” said Tony Ponturo, vice president, global media and sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “Along with team owners George Gillett and Ray Evernham, we feel the pieces are in place for the #9 Budweiser Dodge to contend for NASCAR Sprint Cup championships for years to come.” Budweiser first sponsored a team on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit in 1983, and in 1998, Budweiser became the “Official Beer of NASCAR,” cementing the brand’s place among stock car racing’s elite sponsors.
On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr., PepsiCo and The National Guard announced that Jr. will drive the 88 car for 2008 . The car will feature the Mountain Dew/AMP Energy Drink Logos as well as The National Guard. The press conference displayed three different paint schemes to be used, plus the possibility of using the old DW, 88 paint scheme at some time was mentioned by Dale Jr.
On the local scene, Last Saturday saw the temperatures drop after dark, but the action really got HOT at Spring City Raceway. The big action was in the Limited Late Model race where Crossville drivers battled to take the top 2 spots. Starting up front, Joe Cline quickly took the lead and looked to be making it a runaway. However, the race was filled with cautions and several restarts. On a late restart, Crossville’s Sam Williams got by Cline and that was all she wrote. Williams took the checkers with Cline in tow, followed by Larry Higgins. In the other Spring City races the top three’s were: Modified Street – 1. Mike McGuire, 2.Jeff Page, 3. Brice Davenport. Super Street – 1. Taylor Sutton, 2. Allen Walker, 3. Clayton Forsyth. Street Stock – 1. Jerry Spence, 2.Charlie Godsey, 3.Roger Harrison. Super Mini – 1. Kenny Lemons, 2. Ronnie Shelton, 3. Charolette Daniels. FWD-A-MAIN – 1. Chad Pugh, 2. Daniel Sizemore, 3.JD Rector. FWD-B-MAIN – 1. Dee Howard, 2. Richard Clowers, 3. James Dodd.
Wartburg Speedway will run the Labor Day weekend rained out Rogers Group 50, Advance Auto Parts Thunder Series, Super Late Model event tonight. Many of the top names in Dirt racing will be on hand as AAPTS wind down to it’s final weekend before declaring a 2007 Champion. In addition to the AAPTS race there will be a $2,000 Sportsman race as well as $500 to win Pure Street and Pure Mini and a $300 to win Front Wheel Drive feature. The 2007 Wartburg Speedway Champions will also be honored following each feature race.
On Saturday, Spring City Raceway will host a full card of racing and looks forward to a large field of cars. With several area tracks closing for the season, Spring City hopes to heat up the action this Saturday and again September 29th when they host the HI-TECH Construction – NAPA Auto Parts of Dayton $1,000 to win Limited Late Model Race.