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Posted: Monday September 1, 2008 1:21PM; Updated: Tuesday September 2, 2008 1:00AM
Bruce Martin Bruce Martin >
INSIDE RACING

Castroneves furious over penalty, more news and notes (cont.)

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Performance of the week

None other than Jimmie Johnson, who dominated Sunday night's Sprint Cup race at Fontana, leading 237 laps of the 250-lap race for his third victory of the season.

More importantly, it sent a signal that the two-time defending Sprint Cup champion is more than capable of winning a third Cup title in a row.

"To win this Chase, you're going to have to fight for wins every week, and every pit stop is going to count, because you're going to have at least the No. 18 (Busch) and the No. 99 (Edwards) to have to deal with, and I would expect a few others to have their stuff in order.

"More than anything, I'm happy to close the deal. It's very, very rare to have a car that dominant. In most cases, you end up doing something stupid, and I'm guilty of that in the past so it was nice to close the deal and lead all those laps and win the race."

It's the shoes

Kevin Harvick has made plenty of his competitors mad on the race track, but a prank to teammate Jeff Burton actually made the elder statesman of Richard Childress Racing upset with Harvick.

According to Harvick, Burton has this fetish about his shoes, so one day "we took his shoes one day, I took them. We made up a fake eBay auction. We put them on eBay. He was pretty mad that someone had stolen his shoes out of his locker and he was head huntin' for the person that stole his shoes and wanted them pretty much fired, I think is a polite way to put it.

"We stole his shoes and took them over to [Matt] Kenseth's motorhome. Matt put them on [his feet] and we took pictures of them and then put this thing up on eBay, we had control of it the whole time. Little did he know that we were the ones that stole his shoes."

What I'm looking forward to this week

While NASCAR determines the final six of the 12 drivers that will compete in "The Chase for the Championship" in Saturday night's Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond the IndyCar Series will actually determine its champion Sunday at Chicagoland.

With six victories, including the 92nd Indianapolis 500, Scott Dixon is deserving of his second IndyCar title and his first since 2003. But Helio Castroneves has pushed it to the final race of the season and trails by 30 points.

Chicago is a great place to wrap up a series championship, although that will change after this season when IndyCar will end its 2009 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Another great thing about this weekend? A chance to watch the Chicago White Sox -- you know, the team that actually won the World Series three years ago and not the overblown fairy tale known as the Chicago Cubs.

While Cubs fans are too busy yakking away on their cell phones during the game, White Sox fans actually watch the baseball game, cheer when their team does well and criticizes them when they play poorly.

 
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