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Dodge Rookie Juan Pablo Montoya Wins Raybestos Rookie of the Year
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Kurt Busch recorded a second-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway to make sure that Dodge Motorsports will be represented at Champions Week in New York City with a strong showing in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

This season NASCAR expanded the Chase format to include 12 drivers, but only the top-10 drivers get the chance to drive their cars through the streets on Manhattan and take to the stage for the NASCAR Awards Banquet at the Waldorph-Astoria. Busch entered Homestead-Miami Speedway in the 10th position, 47 points ahead of 11th-place Martin Truex Jr. and 83 points ahead of Denny Hamlin.

Busch started in the fifth position in the season finale at Homestead on Sunday and remained towards the front for most of the race. Busch was running third when Tony Steward caused the seventh and final caution of the race on Lap 254. When the race restarted on Lap 257 Busch was able to pass Martin Truex Jr. for second place and set his sights on race leader Matt Kenseth. However, Kenseth had too much and Busch was unable to make up the necessary ground, leaving him with a second-place finish. Busch was able to gain three spots in the final Championship standings for a seventh-place season ending result. The seventh place finish was his best since he won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship in 2004.

Juan Pablo Montoya’s first season in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series was accompanied by great expectations. The expectations were met when he was named the Raybestos Rookie of the Year following a 15th-place finish the final race of the 2007 season. Montoya finished his Raybestos Rookie season with one win, three top-five and six top-10 finishes. Montoya is the second driver from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates to be named Rookie of the Year joining Jamie McMurray who claimed top rookie honors in 2003.

Ryan Newman’s 18th-place finish in the finale was good enough to make him the highest finishing non-Chase driver for the season at 13th. Newman was consistently one of the highest finishing Dodge drivers throughout the course of the season. He recorded seven top-five, and 15 top-10 finishes. His average finish for the season was 18.6.

David Stremme’s tenure as the driver of the No. 40 Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates came to a close in the season finale. Stremme closed out the season with an 11th-place finish at Homestead, the second highest of all Dodge drivers behind Busch’s second place result. Stremme finished the season in 24th-place overall.

Sam Hornish Jr. and Patrick Carpentier each qualified for their second race of the season as a full time driver. While neither driver was competitive, each was able to obtain valuable seat time heading into the 2008 campaign. Hornish finished 37th and Carpentier finished 40th.

Race Results – Homestead-Miami Speedway

Driver

Team

Finish
Kurt Busch

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

2
David Stremme

No. 40 Target Dodge Charger

11
Juan Montoya

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger

15
Ryan Newman

No. 12 alltel Dodge Charger

18
Reed Sorenson

No. 41 Target Dodge Charger

22
Bobby Labonte

No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger

23
Kasey Kahne

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger

24
Kyle Petty

No. 45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge Charger

34
Sam Hornish Jr.

No. 06 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger

37
Elliott Sadler

No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Charger

38
Patrick Carpentier

No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger

40


2007 Final Driver Standings

Driver

Team

Finish
Kurt Busch

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

7
Ryan Newman

No. 12 alltel Dodge Charger

13
Bobby Labonte

No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger

18
Kasey Kahne

No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger

19
Juan Montoya

No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger

20
Reed Sorenson

No. 41 Target Dodge Charger

22
David Stremme

No. 40 Target Dodge Charger

24
Elliott Sadler

No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Charger

25
Kyle Petty

No. 45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge Charger

35


CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
Dennis Setzer piloted the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge to a 29th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Setzer was the highest finishing Dodge driver ahead of Mike Bliss who finished 32nd. Both drivers finished the race three laps off the lead lap.

2007 Final Driver Standin

Driver

Team

Finish
Dennis Setzer

No. 18 Fastenal Dodge Ram

13
Mike Bliss

No. 4 Open Joist Dodge Ram



 
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