2008 NASCAR Sprint Series Recap


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­jimmie johnson kissing bricksPublications International, Ltd.
Jimmie Johnson kisses the bricks after winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. See more NASCAR pictures.

­Jimmie Johnson etched his name in the NASCAR record books in 2008. The 2006/2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion added his third consecutive title, a feat matched only by the legendary Cale Yarborough, who won three in a row in 1976-78. Johnson also garnered another win at Indianapolis with his second Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victory in July. All this came after a disappointing start, as the #48 Lowe's team didn't score a win until the eighth race at Phoenix, and remained in the shadows wh­ile Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards dominated for most of the season.

January 11
Larry McClure announces that due to lack of sponsorship, Morgan-McClure Motorsports is shutting down. The team formed in 1983 and had three Daytona 500 victories and 14 total NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins.

January 21
NASCAR says it will begin donating fine money collected from teams and drivers to the NASCAR Foundation, which supports charities, instead of adding it to the season-ending point fund.

February 17
Ryan Newman wins the Daytona 500 driving for Roger Penske. It's the first restrictor-plate win for Penske Racing.

March 9
Kyle Busch wins the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for Toyota. It's the 40th start in a points race for the manufacturer.

March 16
Richard Childress Racing drivers Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer finish 1-2-3 in the Food City 500 at Bristol.

April 5
Newcomer Michael McDowell crashes his #00 Aaron's Toyota in qualifying at Texas. The car rolled numerous times and forced the replacement of 28 feet of SAFER barrier. McDowell escaped injury.

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­­May 3
Kyle Bus­ch spins Dale Earnhardt Jr. out of the lead with two laps to go and enrages a sell-out crowd at Richmond in the Crown Royal 400.

May 17
Kasey Kahne wins the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He is the first driver in the history of the event to win after being voted in by the fans.

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May 21
Humpy Wheeler, president and promoter of Lowe's Motor Speedway, announces he is retiring from the speedway after 33 years. It was Wheeler's idea to light a superspeedway for night races.

June 13
Petty Enterprises sells majority interest in the family-owned race team to Boston Ventures, a private equity firm.

July 10
Tony Stewart announces he is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing and will be driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing.

July 14
Ryan Newman says he will leave Penske Racing at the end of the 2008 season. Newman has won 43 poles and 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for Penske.

August 15
Tony Stewart introduces Ryan Newman as his teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing.

September 23
NASCAR announces a new random drug-testing policy. Also, all drivers, officials, and over-the-wall crew members will be tested in the preseason.

October 5
Carl Edwards sparks a 12-car crash during the Amp Energy 500 at Talladega that involves half of the Chase field.

November 9
TV network ABC cuts away from the last 22 laps of the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix and moves it to a cable channel, forcing many to miss the end of the race.

November 12
Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Chip Ganassi Racing merge to become Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, to be based in the Ganassi shops.

November 16
Jimmie Johnson wins his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title, tying Cale Yarborough for that record. Regan Smith wins Raybestos Rookie of the Year.

On the next page, see the full results of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points Race. 

2008 NASCAR Sprint Series Points Race

­­carl edwards does a backflip
Image Courtesy Publications International, Ltd.
Carl Edwards does his signature backflip after winning the UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This was Edwards’ second win in a row after a victory the previous Monday in the rain-delayed Auto Club 500 at Fontana.
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­Wi­th two races to go before t­he beginning of the Chase, Johnson and the team stepped up and won both regular-season races and entered the Chase third behind Busch and Edwards. Johnson ran steadily in the Chase with three wins, and never finished worse than 15th. At the NASCAR Awards Banquet in New York, 69-year-old Cale Yarborough awarded the 2008 championship ring to Johnson, who, at 33 years of age, could be a serious contender to Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt's record of seven titles.

Carl Edwards celebrates his season-leading ninth NASCAR Sprint Cup win in the 2008 Ford 400 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Edwards finished the year second in NASCAR Sprint Cup points, 69 behind Jimmie Johnson. Edwards had a stellar year in 2008. In addition to his nine victories, he accrued 19 top-fives and 27 top-tens, leading the series in all three statistics.

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Rank Driver Points Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10
1 Jimmie Johnson 6684 36 7 15 22
2 Carl Edwards 6615 36 9 19 27
3 Greg Biffle 6467 36 9 19 27
4 Kevin Harvick 6408 36 0 7 19
5 Clint Bowyer 6381 36 1 7 17
6 Jeff Burton 6335 36 2 7 18
7 Jeff Gordon 6316 36 0 13 19
8 Denny Hamlin 6214 36 1 12 18
9 Tony Stewart 6202 36 1 10 16
10 Kyle Busch 6186 36 8 17 21
11 Matt Kenseth 6184 36 0 9 20
12 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 6127 36 1 10 16
13 David Ragan 4299 36 0 6 14
14 Kasey Kahne 4085 36 2 4 14
15 Martin Truex, Jr. 3839 36 0 3 11
16 Jamie McMurray 3809 36 0 4 11
17 Ryan Newman 3735 36 1 2 8
18 Kurt Busch 3635 36 1 5 10
19 Brian Vickers 3580 36 0 3 6
20 Casey Mears 3527 36 0 1 6
21 Bobby Labonte 3448 36 0 0 2
22 David Reutimann 3397 36 0 0 4
23 Travis Kvapil 3384 36 0 0 4
24 Elliott Sadler 3364 36 0 2 8
25 Juan Pablo Montoya 3329 36 0 2 3
26 Paul Menard 3151 36 0 1 1
27 David Gilliland 3064 36 0 1 2
28 Mark Martin 3022 24 0 4 11
29 Michael Waltrip 2889 36 0 1 2
30 Dave Blaney 2851 35 0 0 2
31 Scott Giggs 2797 34 0 0 1
32 Reed Sorenson 2795 35 0 1 2
33 Robby Gordon 2770 36 0 0 3
34 Regan Smith 2672 34 0 0 0
35 Sam Hornish, Jr. 2523 34 0 0 0
36 A.J. Allmendinger 2436 27 0 0 2
37 Joe Nemechek 1989 32 0 0 0
38 Patrick Carpentier 1794 24 0 0 0
39 Bill Elliott 1528 20 0 0 0
40 Michael McDowell 1466 20 0 0 0
41 J.J. Yeley 1263 17 0 1 1
42 Aric Almirola 1075 12 0 0 1
43 Ken Schrader 1040 15 0 0 0
44 Kyle Petty 879 15 0 0 0
45 Marcos Ambrose 844 11 0 1 1
46 Terry Labonte 811 10 0 0 0
47 Tony Raines 800 11 0 0 0
48 Mike Skinner 734 11 0 0 0
49 Dario Franchitti 606 10 0 0 0
50 Jeremy Mayfield 578 8 0 0 0
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