from the Crossville Chronicle – Crossville, Tn Wednesday November 21, 2007
By Joe Dunn
Jimmie Johnson sealed his second championship with his seventh place finish Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He finished the season with 10 wins and 24 top 10 finishes.
Johnsons championship is the seventh championship for owner Rick Hendrick in his 24 years as an owner, making him second to Petty Enterprises with nine. This is also Hendricks eleventh championship in NASCAR’s top three series. Juan Pablo Montoya clinched the Rookie of the Year title.
Carl Edwards was declared the Champion of the NASCAR Busch Series but the owners championship went to Richard Childress and the 29 car driven by Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer. In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Ron Hornaday got a lucky break when Mike Skinner lost a wheel and finished 34th. This is the third Truck series Championship for Hornaday and the first for team owners Kevin and Delana Harvick.
Sundays race was also the final race for the ‘old’ car leaving the teams with a lot of cars and very limited customers. With the only normal buyers being ARCA teams, the cars are expected to sell for pennies on the dollar or distribute them to developmental teams in the Busch East and NASCAR west series. Petty Enterprises is taking a different route with their cars according to Robbie Loomis, General Manager. “We’re going to take some of the old cars and donate them to universities with good engineering programs, and hopefully we can get some return back from the engineering side,”
Some changes for 2008 are already in the works. Race winner Matt Kenseth will be looking at a new crew chief next year as Robbie Reiser has been promoted to General Manager of Roush Fenway Racing’s Nextel Cup team operations. Team engineer Chip Bolin will replace Reiser. In the Penske South organization, rumor has it that Ryan Newman’s crew chief Mike Nelson is moving up to a management position and Roy McCauley who started the 2007 season as Kurt Busch’s crew chief will take over the 12 team. McCauley served as Newman’s crew chief in 2005 in the Busch series.
BAM racing announced that they have signed John Andretti to return as the driver of the 49 cat for the 2008 season. The team is also searching for additional sponsorship with hopes to enter a second team next year.
Watch for lots of news and changes over the next three months heading up to the Daytona 500.
On the local scene, the final dirt track racing took place Friday and Saturday as Cleveland Speedway wound up the season with the 19th annual ‘Gobbler’. On Friday night, Dale McDowell led 25 of the 27 laps to win the Budweiser Joe Lee Johnson Memorial. Chris Madden finished second, with Skip Arp, Clint Smith and Steve Smith rounding out the top 5. Crossville’s Randy Weaver finished 6th.
On Saturday night, Shane Clanton took the win in the Country Squire Homes, Southern All Stars, Gobbler. Dale McDowell finished second with Randy Weaver, Chris madden and Jimmy Owens rounding out the top 5. In the Limited Late model show it was Jason Welsham with the win followed by Rex Ritchey, Greg Martin, Todd Morrow and Matt Steward finishing in the top 5. In the A Hobby class it was Tanner Works with the win, followed by Greg Sudderth, Chris Stewart, Robbie Green and Jason Brown. The B Hobby winner was Donald Forgey followed by Raymond Shepard, Jonathan Simms, Duke Rodabaugh and Chris Beavers. Pony (ministock) was won by Rocky McNabb with Cheyenne Kite, Terry Poore, Kris Poe and Michael Courtney finishing top 5. The final race of the evening was the front runners where Mike Mayhem took the win, with Bill Bailey, Kenny Kizzar, Jeff Curvin and Dustin Cansler rounding out the top five.
Next on the agenda will be the Crossville Raceway drivers meeting scheduled for Sunday December 9 at the race track. Meeting times are, cruisers- noon, Front Wheel drive – 1 PM, Mini Stock -2 PM, Street Stock – 3 PM, Limited Late Model – 4 PM and UMP Open Wheel Modifieds after 4 PM. For Questions about the meeting contact Chris McConnell at (931) 472-5111 or William Scogin at (931) 538-8448