Come see the greatest field in Sprint Cup history at Ford Championship Weekend

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Tickets are on sale now for Ford Championship Weekend 2008, Nov. 14-16 on Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series all crown champions under the lights. To secure individual or group tickets for NASCAR's finale, call (866) 409-RACE or visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.

Does it get any bigger than this?

Earnhardt, Stewart, Gordon, Edwards, Johnson, Busch, Kenseth, Burton, Bowyer, Harvick, Biffle, Hamlin.

The 2008 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is already beginning to sound like a Hall of Fame. Make no mistake, this years Chase for the Cup will be very exciting indeed.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kyle Busch are at it again, just like they were when they left Richmond International Raceway the last time.
   
Only this time, the shoe was on the other foot, a hot shoe at that.

More on that in a minute.
   
Jimmie Johnson outdueled Tony Stewart in a race to the wire Sunday to win the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.
   
Running side by side and bumper to bumper the last 10 laps of the 400-lap race, Johnson beat Stewart across the finish line, serving notice he intends to really go after a third NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in a row. Johnson and Stewart finished ahead of Virginian Denny Hamlin and Earnhardt, who led several times during the race and tangled with Busch, who spun and hit the wall just like Earnhardt did in the spring when the two got together.
   
It was an instant replay of the spring incident except Busch wound up on the receiving end this time around.
   
The Sunday crowd of more than 100,000 fans cheered loudly when the two cars rubbed together after racing each other side by side.

Actually, the accident was neither driver's fault, just good hard racing fans have come to expect at this track.
   
And they'll likely be talking about this one for weeks to come. It was the final race before the Sprint Chase and the lineup of the top 12 remained the same, even though young David Ragan made a valiant effort to unseat Clint Bowyer from the 12th and final spot.
   
At one point in the race, Ragan, who started 17 points behind Bowyer, had moved ahead of the Jack Daniels driver but a skirmish with teammate Matt Kenseth ended his chances.
   
Rounding out the top 10 in the race were Mark Martin, Jeff Burton,Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann, who led the race near the end, and Kurt Busch. Brother Kyle, leading the point standings, salvaged a 15th-place finish after the shunt with Earnhardt.
   
The race was riddled with caution flags but someone was passing someone, or trying to, almost every lap.
   
The series moves to Loudon, N. H., next week for the first race in Nascar's version of a playoff. Busch, Edwards (13th Sunday), Earnhardt, Greg Biffle (14th Sunday), Burton, Harvick, Gordon, Hamlin, Stewart, Kenseth (39th) and Bowyer (ironically 12th Sunday) are now eligible for the coveted championship that will be decided in the next 10 races.

And fans will be debating the Earnhardt-Busch incident for some time.

It was a perfect afternoon, clear, sunny and temperatures in the 80s when 43 powerful engines roared to life after being locked up in team haulers hiding from Tropical Storm Hanna for a day and a half.
  
The powerful

storm forced NASCAR to postpone all events originally scheduled Friday and Saturday, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races, as well as time trials for both.
  
Hanna roared through in the wee hours of Saturday morning, leaving as much as four inches of rain and high winds in its path. The rain didn't stop until late Saturday evening which gave all the teams an unexpected day off.

Once the race did start, point leader Busch kept the lead until Harvick, who started seventh, passed him on lap 29. NASCAR threw a compeition caution at 35 laps to allow teams an opportunity to check tire wear. The heavy rains had washed all the rubber from the track.
   
When they made the stop, Harvick was in front and Earnhardt had passed Busch for second.
    
Gordon was fourth, trailed by Hamlin, Johnson, Stewart, Ragan, Bowyer and Edwards. Many of the fans were keeping their eyes on Bowyer, Ragan and Kahne, all battling for the 12th and final slot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship.
   
Bowyer held a 17-point lead over Ragan and a 48-point lead over Kahne entering the race.
   
When the race resumed, Gordon's pit crew got him out ahead. Harvick was second with Earnhardt third. Busch dropped back to ninth. Bowyer was eighth but ahead of both Ragan and Kahne.

Both Harvick and Hamlin dusted Gordon in short order, as did Earnhardt. Stewart and Bowyer also moved into the top five.
   
Edwards had to make an unscheduled stop for a flat tire on lap 71. Harvick, Hamlin and Earnhardt mixed it up around lap 75, and Earnhardt took the lead. The sport's most popular driver took the high road around the track, sailing off the corners and down the straightaways with a burst of speed. His car was literally flying around the top side of the three-quarter-mile track while every other driver preferred the low side.
    
A scrape with the trioval wall cut a tire on Johnny Sauter's Chevy and  brought the caution flag out on lap 96.
    
Earnhardt led on the restart, followed by Hamlin, Harvick, Busch and Kenseth.
    
The field didn't get far this time before some beating and banging resulted in Michael Waltrip spinning to bring the caution out again.
    
Biffle encountered a problem on lap 114, prompting an unscheduled stop for his Roush Ford and another caution.
    
Teammates Kenseth and Ragan banged together on lap 121, slamming the outside retaining wall, handicapping  Ragan's Chase hopes.
   
Harvick took the lead from Earnhardt on lap 138 and appeared to have the car to beat as he built up a 1.2-second on Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevy. Both cars pulled away from Hamlin, Busch and Bowyer.
   
Juan Pablo Montoya hit the wall on lap 163 and caused a chain reaction accident to bring out another caution. Elliott Sadler was involved.
   
On the restart, Earnhardt was back in front with Harvick second but Harvick passed Earnhardt a few laps later, regaining the lead.
    
By the halfway point, Busch was back out front with Earnhardt second and Hamlin third. Harvick was next ahead of Stewart, Johnson, Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Gordon and Ryan Newman.
     
Martin Truex, Jr., spun starting the 201st lap, bringing out another caution.    

[story courtesy of NASCARmedia.com]
[photo courtesy of gettyimages.com]

Tickets are on sale now

for Ford Championship Weekend 2008, Nov. 14-16 on Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series all crown champions under the lights. To secure individual or group tickets for NASCAR's finale, call (866) 409-RACE or visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.

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