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I got this emal this morning. I found it very humorus! Read carefully, a couple of cool inputs there.

Gordon, J.J. top list of road scholars; Toyota needs to hit books

July 11, 2007
By Pete Pistone
Special to CBS SportsLine.com


The NASCAR season is at the halfway mark with 18 races down and 18 to go. Of course with the Chase for the Championship format, only eight races remain for drivers to earn a spot in the top 12 in the points standings and a chance to win the final Nextel Cup, before another name change hits the series in 2008.

Teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are locks to make the Chase.
As the Class of 2007 readies to begin the second half this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, let's hand out this year's midterm grades:

A+

• Jeff Gordon
• Jimmie Johnson

Things couldn't have gone much better for the Hendrick Motorsports duo during the first five months of the season, each notching four victories. Even with the 100-point penalties and crew chief suspensions levied by NASCAR for the Sonoma qualifying infractions, both are a lock to make the Chase and get a shot at earning team owner Rick Hendrick his seventh Cup title.

A

• Denny Hamlin
• Kevin Harvick
• Matt Kenseth
• Martin Truex Jr.

Hamlin has been a contender in almost every race this season -- except when teammate Tony Stewart is nearby, as evident in Saturday's Daytona 400. Hamlin, last season's Rookie of the Year, has been particularly dominant in Car of Tomorrow races and finally earned a victory earlier this month at New Hampshire.
Kenseth is putting together another one of his stealth seasons, consistently finishing in the top five or 10 every week, with a victory in California. Harvick started the year with a bang at Daytona and has tailed off some, but winning the sport's biggest race certainly earns a driver a top grade.
Truex Jr. finally broke down the door to Victory Lane with his win at Dover, an accomplishment that has led to a string of solid finishes.

B+

• Carl Edwards
• Kyle Busch
• Dale Earnhardt Jr.
• Jeff Burton

If Busch Series performance were included in the grading, Edwards would have an A-plus as he is well on the way to winning this year's title. But his Nextel Cup effort has also been impressive with a win at Michigan and several top five finishes.
Busch has been thrown into an awkward situation as a lame duck with Hendrick, but has put together a solid first half with a win and a runner-up run last week at Daytona in the second-closest finish in series history. How he handles the rest of the season in such sticky circumstances will be interesting.
Burton hasn't been spectacular, but nonetheless solid. And now that Earnhardt Jr. has his future sorted out, he can concentrate on trying to win races and a title.

B

• Casey Mears
• Jamie McMurray
• Juan " Peeblo" Montoya
• Tony Stewart
• Clint Bowyer
• Mark Martin
• Ryan Newman
• Kurt Busch

Mears started slowly with Hendrick but scored his first career Cup win at Charlotte. McMurray has steadily climbed up the standings as he and crew chief Larry Carter's chemistry gelled, notching his first win in nearly five years last week. Montoya has been up and down but the road-course win and some flashes of brilliance have been impressive.
Stewart's biggest nemesis is once again himself, as he has had to deal with his unflattering comments toward NASCAR as well as some questionable on-track decisions, most recently his run-in with teammate Hamlin at Daytona. Bowyer seems destined to be the season's next first-time winner. Martin has been his usual consistent self in a limited role. Newman and Busch have helped turn things around at Penske Racing, each rebounding from especially disappointing seasons a year ago.

C

• Bobby Labonte
• David Stremme
• J.J. Yeley
• David Ragan
• David Gilliland
• Dave Blaney
• Jeff Green
• Johnny Sauter

Nothing special in this group, although Stremme has shown instances of breaking out of the middle of the pack, as has Ragan.

D

• Kasey Kahne
• Elliott Sadler
• Scott Riggs
• Paul Menard
• Joe Nemechek
• Sterling Marlin
• Tony Raines
• Kyle Petty
• David Reutimann

The biggest surprises in this group have to be from the Evernham stable, led by Kahne, who had six wins a year ago and hasn't come close to Victory Lane this season. Menard has been off the radar in the rookie class and Nemechek and Marlin might be out of jobs if reports of Ginn Racing's financial problems are correct. Reutimann has been the best Toyota of the season, which really isn't saying much.

F

• Michael Waltrip
• Dale Jarrett
• A.J. Allmendinger
• Jeremy Mayfield
• Brian Vickers

The common thread here? Toyota, of course. All these Camry drivers are going through what can only be described as a nightmare, particularly for Waltrip who started the year in controversy with the Daytona 500 cheating scandal and has watched his three-car team miss qualifying for races on a weekly basis.
We'll see how things wind up at graduation time in December when the 2007 Nextel Cup Series awards banquet takes place in New York.
 
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