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RUNS WELL AT Atlanta, Martinsville
REGULAR-SEASON FINISH 1
HE BUILT A BIG LEAD with four wins in the first 14 races but started coming back to the pack after crew chief Steve Letarte was suspended for six races on June 26 and other teams cut into Hendrick Motorsports' CoT edge. Also, his confidence seemed shaken after he spun while leading with two laps to go at the Glen on Aug. 12. But Gordon didn't win four Cups without being resilient.
RUNS WELL AT Kansas, Martinsville
REGULAR-SEASON FINISH 10
IF GORDON WAS THE TOP DRIVER of the first half of the season, then Busch owned the second half. Entering the Chase, he and crew chief Pat Tryson, who joined Busch in June after being fired as Greg Biffle's pit boss, are the hottest team in NASCAR: five top 10 finishes (including two wins) in their last seven races. And Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, knows how to close the show.
RUNS WELL AT Loudon, Phoenix