Homestead: GM Racing preview

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - (November 13, 2007) - Chevrolet is on the brink of collecting its 24th NASCAR Nextel Cup Drivers Championship on Sunday, November 18 at the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final round of the 2007 tour. An historic...

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - (November 13, 2007) - Chevrolet is on the brink of collecting its 24th NASCAR Nextel Cup Drivers Championship on Sunday, November 18 at the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final round of the 2007 tour.

An historic year for the bow-tie brand, Team Chevy has made a record-breaking 26 trips to victory lane in 35 races to date and earned its 31st Manufacturers' Cup title. At the season finale, Chevrolet looks to proudly crown one of two Hendrick Motorsports' drivers as the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion. Of the 12 contenders in the Chase for the Championship, only Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS, and teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS are mathematically in contention to clinch the title.

"This has been an amazing season for Chevrolet in NASCAR Cup competition," said Mark Kent, Director of GM Racing. "We have already exceeded our goals across the board by winning our 31st Manufacturers' Cup Championship and an unprecedented number of 26 races. Our Chevy drivers, teams, and owners have given the new generation Impala SS race car and the Monte Carlo SS race car 13 wins apiece. Such success is due to the hard work and group effort among the teams and the folks at GM Racing.

"It has been really exciting to have nine of our Chevy drivers make the Chase and watch them vie for the Nextel Cup title in these last nine races. And now, it will go down to the wire between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Everyone at GM and Chevrolet will be cheering them on."

Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS team have tremendous momentum on their side as they head to Homestead. Johnson and his Chad Knaus-led team have won the last four races and extended their standings lead with last week's win at Phoenix to an 86-point advantage over teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS. By finishing 18th or better at Homestead, Johnson can become the first back-to-back NASCAR Cup champion since Gordon accomplished that feat in 1997-98.

"There is no telling how things are going to go in Homestead," said Johnson, who has amassed 10 wins this year but is not quite ready to celebrate. "I need every point. And I know how good Jeff Gordon is, and I know how good his team is. If we put our guard down and don't try to score maximum points, we're going to get beat."

Gordon, who handpicked Johnson as his HMS teammate six years ago, thinks the only way he and his Steve Letarte-led team can win would be if Johnson has problems.

"We've gotten beat, bottom line," said the four-time NASCAR Cup champion following a disappointing 10th-place finish at Phoenix last week. "It's over. I think it's over. Even if they have trouble and we still win it and we accept the check and the trophy, it's not the way you want to win a championship. Those guys are on an unbelievable roll. They have just knocked it out of the ballpark. You've got to give credit where credit's due. Those guys deserve a lot of credit. We didn't step up and win the races when we needed to. We gave them a run for a while and now we've got to figure out how to get the best finish we can at Homestead and end this season off on a positive note going into the off-season."

Johnson, however, maintains a conservative approach. "I don't want to act like it's our championship yet," he said. "Jeff is a true champion, a great friend and teammate and it has been a heck of a battle. I know it isn't over yet. He will go to Homestead and give me all he's got."

Teammates, friends, and winners, Johnson and Gordon will take it to the limit this weekend.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports