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If bestselling author Dan Brown ever decides to center a book around racing, the Freemasons, who figure largely in his symbology-driven novels, have served up a real-life scenario that he can draw from. Seth Stevenson, who writes Slate.com's Ad Report Card, delves into the details surrounding the Masons' NASCAR Busch Series #34 Scottish Rite Chevrolet (which is decorated with a giant two-headed Masonic eagle on its hood).

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.