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Ford 400 - Homestead-Miami Speedway

Kenseth Wins Ford 400, Johnson Wins Back-to-Back Titles
Matt Kenseth spoiled Jimmie Johnson's bid for his fifth consecutive victory, but the defending NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion rolled home seventh on Sunday to capture his second championship on a memorable day at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth's win, for example, was somewhat of a going-away present for long-time crew chief Robbie Reiser, who becomes General Manager of Roush-Fenway Racing's five-car stable next season. It capped a season in which Kenseth made the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup and fell out of sight after the first five of the 10-race season showdown. He roared back to post five consecutive top-five finishes, including Sunday's hard-earned win over the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race was also the last for one of NASCAR's grittiest competitors, Ricky Rudd, who had 906 starts in his career, including Sunday's race. In a touch of irony, Rudd started his final race in a car owned by Robert Yates, one of the sport's long-standing, successful car owners, who has turned the reigns to Robert Yates Racing over to his son, Doug. Fans will remember this one also as the race four-time champion Jeff Gordon established a new NASCAR record with 30 top-10 finishes in a season. Gordon finished fourth in Sunday's run, 77 points behind his teammate Johnson in the championship chase. Rick Hendrick had a memorable day as well. The popular owner was beaming from ear to ear after his cars finished 1-2 in the championship. First-place point fund money is more than $6 million dollars. It was the seventh car owner championship for Hendrick. Trailing Kenseth across the finish line were Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Gordon, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex, Jr., Johnson, Jeff Burton, veteran Mark Martin and rookie David Ragan. Both Busch and Burton rallied back from problems to finish in the top 10. Former champion Tony Stewart, who challenged for most of the day, lost control of his Chevy with 14 laps to go and slammed the outside wall to bring out the day's seventh and final caution flag. Johnson charged away when the green flag waved and battled Ryan Newman until he led a lap for the five bonus points going to every driver leading a lap. He quickly backed off a little and settled in for his championship chase. Jeff Burton brushed the wall after just six laps, which cost him a lap when he pitted. Dale Earnhardt's day, his last as a driver for his late father's Dale Earnhardt, Inc, team, was a dismal one. Dale, Jr., misjudged his speed coming into the pits, slid off in the grass and was spun by Kyle Busch when he pulled back on track at the pit entrance. Things went from bad top worse for Dale, Jr., on a later restart when Jeff Burton hit the No. 8 from the rear, sending it into the outside wall on the front straightaway. Kenseth, one of the hottest drivers in the season's last five events, was a contender from the beginning, swapping the lead with Kurt Busch and Newman. Newman lost a lot of track position when he spun on lap 149. Kenseth continued to flex his speed at the halfway point while Johnson settled in back in the ninth position. Denny Hamlin showed some speed at this point in the race and Martin Truex, Jr. was running in the top five. Gordon had moved into the top five but didn't appear to be a threat to win the race. Johnson, at this point, seemed to be biding time, logging laps and trying to stay out of trouble.

Ford 400 Notes
· Race Results
· Chevrolet Post-Race Quotes
· Ford Post-Race Quotes
· Dodge Post-Race Quotes
· Toyota Post-Race Quotes
· Rookie Post-Race Quotes
· WIX Filters Lap Leader Notes
· Point Standings
· 'Old' Point Standings
· Owner Point Standings
· Final Practice
· Practice 2
· Chevrolet Saturday Quotes
· Rookie Saturday Quotes
· Starting Lineup
· Qualifying Results
· Chevrolet Qualifying Quotes
· Dodge Qualifying Quotes
· Ford Qualifying Quotes
· Toyota Qualifying Quotes
· Rookie Qualifying Quotes
· Practice 1
· Qualifying Order
· Chevrolet Friday Quotes and Audio
· Ford Friday Quotes
· Dodge Friday Quotes
· Entry List
· Weekend Schedule
· Chase Notes
· Raybestos Rookie Notes
· Team Red Bull Notes
· Sam Hornish Jr. Notes
· Patrick Carpentier Notes
· Jimmie Johnson Notes
· Jeff Gordon Notes
· Clint Bowyer Notes
· Kyle Busch Notes
· Tony Stewart Notes
· Matt Kenseth Notes
· Kevin Harvick Notes
· Jeff Burton Notes
· Carl Edwards Notes
· Kurt Busch Notes
· Denny Hamlin Notes
· Ryan Newman Notes
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. Notes
· Greg Biffle Notes
· Casey Mears Notes
· Jamie McMurray Notes
· Bobby Labonte Notes
· Kasey Kahne Notes
· J.J. Yeley Notes
· Juan Pablo Montoya Notes
· Reed Sorenson Notes
· David Ragan Notes
· Elliott Sadler Notes
· David Stremme Notes
· Tony Raines Notes
· Mark Martin Notes
· Dave Blaney Notes
· Ricky Rudd Notes
· Paul Menard Notes
· Kyle Petty Notes
· Bill Elliott Notes
· Jeremy Mayfield Notes
· Johnny Benson Notes

Johnson to Start Title Defense from Pole Position
Jimmie Johnson will start the defense of his 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship from the best possible place, at the front of the field. Continuing his scorching run in the Chase for the Championship, Johnson won the Bud Pole for Sundayís Ford 400. Johnson turned in a qualifying effort of 30.545 seconds, at an average speed of 176.788 mph, to win his 13th pole in 219 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. This is Johnsonís fourth Bud Pole and 26th top-10 start in 2007, including nine of the 10 Chase races. This is his first pole and second top-10 start in seven races at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Entering the race with an 86-point lead over second-place Jeff Gordon, Johnson looks to clinch back-to-back NEXTEL Cup titles. The Bud Pole winner has led at least one lap in 33 of the 35 races this year. The only pole winners who did not led a lap in the given race were Ryan Newman in the first Atlanta race and J.J. Yeley at the second Michigan race. The pole winner has led the most laps seven times this season. If Johnson does lead one lap, he needs only to finish 19th or better to guarantee the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship. Ryan Newman posted the second-fastest qualifying time and will join Johnson on the front row for the season finale. It is his 16th top-10 start of the season and his fourth in six races at Homestead. Kasey Kahne, who notched the fastest speed in Fridayís practice session, will start third, posting his 20th top-10 start of 2007. Sterling Marlin (16th) was the fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time, while David Ragan (seventh) was the fastest qualifying rookie. Seven of the 12 Chase drivers qualified in the top-10: Johnson, Matt Kenseth (fourth), Kurt Busch (fifth), Kevin Harvick (eighth), Jeff Burton (ninth) and Carl Edwards (10th). Jeff Gordon qualified in the 11th position.

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