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July 02, 2007
July 02, 2007

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July 2, 2007

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
Where Are They Now?
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  • Remaining undefeated under new coach Bob Bradley, the U.S. won the Gold Cup by beating archrival Mexico (yet again) in a match that served as a young midfielder's coming-out party

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2007 NASCAR Midseason Report
Where Are They Now: Lost & Found
Life of Reilly
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Poll Position

In a high-octane,if highly unscientific, survey SPORTS ILLUSTRATED recently polled Nextel Cupdrivers to get their opinions on matters both on-track and off. More than athird of the Cup regulars (18) responded, though some of the drivers declinedto answer certain questions (thus the percentages given don't all add up to100). Some who did respond added comments (anonymously), the most notable ofwhich are included here

This is an article from the July 2, 2007 issue Original Layout

"Short trackracing can't be beat."

Which is yourfavorite racetrack?

Bristol MotorSpeedway.......... 18%

Phoenix Intl.Raceway.............. 12%

Atlanta MotorSpeedway.......... 12%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: DOVER, INDIANAPOLIS, RICHMOND, TEXAS, MICHIGAN AND "WHEREVER I GETMY NEXT WIN"

Would you somedaylike to run in the Indy 500?

Yes..........47%

No...........35%

Maybe......18%

Would you allow adaughter of yours to date Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Yes.................. 6%

No.................. 65%

"He has toomany women already."

"Hell,no." "Are you crazy?"

"Absolutelynot."

"No way inheck."

Could DanicaPatrick be competitive in NASCAR?

Yes........41%

No....... 53%

"Sure, butthe real question is, Could she win?"

The current36-race Nextel Cup schedule is ...

Toolong...................................... 59%

Tooshort.................................... 0%

Justright................................... 41%

Should the Chasefor the Nextel Cup include a road course among its 10 races?

Yes.............................................. 47%

No............................................ 35%

How important isqualifying for race success?

Not atall.................................... 0%

Somewhat................................. 47%

Extremely.................................... 53%

"Matt Kensethis David Pearson in disguise."

Who's the bestdriver in Nextel Cup?

JeffGordon................................ 35%

Me.............................................. 18%

TonyStewart............................. 12%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: MATT KENSETH, CARL EDWARDS AND BILL ELLIOTT

Who's the mostunderrated driver?

MattKenseth............................. 24%

ClintBowyer.............................. 18%

JimmieJohnson....................... 12%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: JEFF BURTON, KYLE BUSCH, DALE EARNHARDT JR., BOBBY LABONTE AND TONYSTEWART

Who's the mostoverrated driver?

Dale EarnhardtJr...................... 41%

Don't know/Can'tsay............. 35%

KyleBusch................................. 6%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: KURT BUSCH, DENNY HAMLIN AND JUAN PABLO MONTOYA

At what age is adriver considered past his prime?

No age/It'sperformance........... 41%

45.............................................. 24%

Who are you mostconfident racing wheel to wheel with?

MattKenseth........ 35%

JeffGordon........... 29%

MarkMartin........... 18%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: JEFF BURTON, TONY STEWART AND DALE EARNHARDT JR.

How many hours aweek do you spend on fitness training?

0................................................. 18%

1--3............................................... 23%

3--7............................................... 23%

7--10............................................. 23%

More than10............................. 12%

Who are you leastconfident racing wheel to wheel with?

Juan PabloMontoya...... 29%

RobbyGordon................. 24%

NoAnswer....................... 24%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: KURT BUSCH, KYLE BUSCH, JEFF GORDON AND SCOTT RIGGS

"Montoyadoesn't allow any easy passes, even early in a race."

It's the last lapof the Daytona 500 and you're leading; whom would you least like to have onyour bumper?

TonyStewart........... 41%

Dale EarnhardtJr.... 18%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: KEVIN HARVICK, MIKE BLISS, CARL EDWARDS AND JEFF GORDON

"With DaleJr., we could eat for free on the trip."

Which driverwould you most like to go on a cross-country road trip with?

Dale EarnhardtJr........................ 24%

TonyStewart............................... 12%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: CLINT BOWYER, JEFF BURTON, CASEY MEARS, DANICA PATRICK AND ELLIOTTSADLER

Do you own yourown plane?

Yes............................................. 41%

No................................................ 59%

"Age doesn'tseem to be bothering [48-year-old] Mark Martin."

Which driver hasthe hottest wife or girlfriend?

Clint Bowyer(girlfriend Athena Barber)............................................. 29%

Me...........................................................................................................29%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: KURT BUSCH, RYAN NEWMAN AND ROBBY GORDON

"I'm notreally in touch with my feminine side. "

Would you go onDancing with the Stars?

Yes.............................................. 6%

No................................................ 94%

The Car ofTomorrow ...

Rocks......................................... 12%

Sucks......................................... 41%

Neither........................................ 47%

Which driver whohasn't won yet will be the first to get a Cup victory?

ClintBowyer............................... 65%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (SURVEY TAKEN BEFORE MONTOYA'S WIN AT SONOMA ON JUNE24), DAVID REUTIMANN, SCOTT RIGGS AND J.J. YELEY

Should NASCARdrug-test drivers?

Yes................................................ 71%

No.............................................. 18%

"It's thesame as any other sport." Republican, Democrat or Independent?

Republican................................. 59%

Democrat................................... 0%

Independent.............................. 18%

"Yes, and soshould Pete Rose."

Should BarryBonds go into the Hall of Fame?

Yes............................................... 53%

No.............................................. 18%

How many speedingtickets have you gotten?

0............................................. 12%

1.............................................. 18%

Way toomany........................ 65%

Would you like tohave your son/daughter become a race driver?

Yes...................................... 18%

No........................................ 29%

Just myson....................... 12%

"She can be adoctor."

Who's yourfavorite NASCAR TV commentator?

MikeJoy...................................... 12%

LarryMcReynolds..................... 12%

ALSO RECEIVINGVOTES: DARRELL WALTRIP, DR. JERRY PUNCH, DICK BERGREN, ANDY PETREE AND MATTYOCUM

Would you ratherwatch Formula One or golf on TV?

F/1................................................ 82%

Golf............................................. 6%

Golf orhunting?

Golf............................... 41%

Hunting..................... 35%

Neither......................... 6%

MORE

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PHOTONIGEL KINRADE (BRISTOL)BOWLED OVER For a lot of drivers, the high-banked Bristol bullring is what a racetrack should be.FOUR PHOTOSDOUG BENC/GETTY IMAGES (EARNHARDT); ROB CARR/AP (INDY); AJ MAST/ICON SMI (PATRICK); JEFF GROSS/GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR (CAR)PHOTONIGEL KINRADE GordonPHOTOKEVIN KANE/WIREIMAGE.COM (KENSETH)KensethPHOTOGEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGESEarnhardtFOUR PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE; GEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES; NICK LAHAM/GETTY IMAGES (KENSETH CAR); CHRIS MCGRATH/GETTY IMAGES (MONTOYA CAR)PHOTOMARK J. REBILAS/US PRESSWIRE (BARBER AND BOWYER)Barber and BowyerFIVE PHOTOSCAROL KAELSON/ABC (DANCING); NIGEL KINRADE (BOWYER); DAMIAN STROHMEYER (BONDS);DAVID E. KLUTHO (F/1 CAR);JASON MCKIBBEN/AP (TROOPER)PHOTO MARC SEROTA/REUTERS (MONTOYA)Juan Pablo Montoya's son, SebastianTWO PHOTOSFOX SPORTS (JOY AND MCREYNOLDS) Joy /McReynoldsPHOTORUSTY BURROUGHS/TSN/ZUMA PRESS/ICON SMI (BUSCH)Kurt BuschTHREE PHOTOS