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Highlights
December 08, 2004
News, notes and numbers from the first 26 races
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December 08, 2004

Highlights

News, notes and numbers from the first 26 races

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-- Rusty Wallace, on Aug. 30, announcing that he'll retire at the end of the 2005 season

BEHIND the Wall

Thanks to the new, softer compound Goodyear tire that NASCAR introduced this season, the number of two-tire pit stops on the superspeedways was dramatically reduced. The drivers at the Daytona 500 who risked taking only two tires, as rookie Scott Wimmer did late in the race, slid around the track as if they were on ice just a few laps into their runs. "The new tires definitely wear out quicker," said Elliott Sadler. "This puts it on the crew chief and the driver to get the car to work throughout the whole run." ... After winning his third pole of the season, for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on May 2, Kasey Kahne had captured more poles through eight races than any rookie since Dick Hutcherson in 1965.... While preparing to compete in the Samsung/ RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. spotted a traffic-stopping blonde in the garage area and quickly asked a friend to introduce him to Kortnie Koles. Little E and Koles's romance sizzled for a few months--as F/X's NASCAR Drivers: 360 would document--but it fizzled before the start of the Chase.

The CONTENDERS

After 26 races a formidable top 10 braced for the Chase

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

The SPOILERS

No title shot, but 11th place is worth $1 million

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

Statistics through Sept. 12

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