The arrival of 2004 points champion Kurt Busch, who switched teams after the '05 season, replacing the retired Rusty Wallace, was supposed to vault Penske into the upper echelon of the Nextel Cup last year. Instead Busch and teammate Ryan Newman were the circuit's biggest busts, with just one win between them. As a result, owner Roger Penske made some changes for '07, including a new crew chief (Mike Nelson) for Newman, as well as a new nose (reconfigured for better handling in traffic) for the team's Dodge Chargers. Also, look for Busch to improve in his second season with Roy McCauley atop the box, building on Busch's solid performance at the end of '06 (four top 10s in the final nine races).
-- Mark Beech