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This Sunday the Chase for the 2006 Nextel Cup will cross the finish line. At the end of the day, as long as No. 48 Jimmie Johnson finishes 12th or better at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he will walk away with his long-awaited championship. According to the guys who crunch the numbers, that's even if No. 17 Matt Kenseth, who trails Johnson by 63 points, wins the race and leads the most laps.

But No. 29 Kevin Harvick, third in the standings going into this weekend's race, will not end the year empty-handed. Harvick's done even better in the Busch Series. He had that title wrapped up in October. He can just coast through Saturday's Busch race (Ford 300 on TNT at 7 p.m. ET). No. 11 Denny Hamlin, fourth in Nextel Cup standings, looks good to take home rookie-of-the-year trophy.
Sorry No. 8 fans, at 115 points behind Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. is a long shot. There's always next year, Dale. Rounding out Nextel Cup's top 10 are No. 24 Jeff Gordon, No. 31 Jeff Burton, No. 6 Mark Martin, No. 9 Kasey Kahne and No. 5 Kyle Busch.

Watch the Ford 400/Nextel Cup Series Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

For the Craftsman Truck Series championship, Johnny Benson trails Todd Bodine by 112 points before Friday's Ford 200 in Miami. Watch that race on Speed Channel at 7:30 p.m. ET

Check the NASCAR TV schedule for official airing times.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let me remind you that this race team is an eight time cheater - eight times has the crew chief been caught cheating - with the most recent occasion being installing an illegal device to alter the rear window profile at Speedweeks in Daytona THIS YEAR! One can say all you want that the driver knew nothing about this on one or two occasions, but when your crew chief has been caught eight times cheating, there is a real problem having Jimmy Johnson as NASCAR Champion. This latest occasion did not even cost Johnson any points which makes it outrageous that he could win the NASCAR Championship. Add that Jimmy Johnson triggered a wreck at Talladega a year or so ago that ruined over $6 million worth of competitor's hardware and just this year triggered another accident at the same venue and you have a sorry representative for NASCAR.

      I hope that there is some justice and the 48 team finds the wall or blows and engine so that the sport that I love so much (though the sanctioning body is a complete collection of morons) is not represented by a serial cheater.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Wow i hadn't realized he cheated so much. I remember last year in Dover they had different springs than everyone else and won the race. However, Nascar is all about getting as close to breaking the rules as you can and sometimes you are bound to cross that line. As much as i dislike Jimmie Johnson you have to look at how amazing they've performed ALL year. I think he deserves it on the virtues of how well he has run. However, i will be hoping on sunday that he wrecks and takes out kenseth harvick and hamlin and junior cruises to the championship.