Scouting Reports

On Sunday at Daytona the nine-month, 36-race charge for the Sprint Cup gets started. Here's how the top teams stack up in their all-out quest for the checkered flag
February 18, 2008

Hendrick Motorsports
This organization has it all: talent at the wheel, expertise atop the pit box and unmatched resources. It's easy to believe that Hendrick will again be the juggernaut it was in 2007, when its cars won 18 races and Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon went one-two in the standings. New to the stable is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who replaces Kyle Busch (now with Joe Gibbs Racing). Little E brings crew chief Tony Eury Jr. with him, and their number 88 team will share facilities with the team of Casey Mears and crew chief Alan Gustafson, an arrangement that should help both drivers.

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DRIVERS Age Cup Season '07 Points Standing
ROBBY GORDON 39 10TH 26TH
A hard charger every time he takes the green flag, this road-course expert is always a threat to win at Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway.
JOE NEMECHEK 44 15TH 37TH
Front Row Joe is back with a full-time ride, and with his team, Furniture Row Racing, running Hendrick engines, he could occasionally contend.
BRIAN VICKERS 24 5TH 38TH
A year after finishing 15th in points, he was hobbled by Toyota's growing pains and failed to qualify for 13 races in '07. Look for him to rebound.
AJ ALLMENDINGER 26 2ND 43RD
Despite running poorly in qualifying, he pulled out three finishes of 18th or better. As he matures, his finishes should improve.
KYLE PETTY 47 29TH 35TH
Winless in his last 391 starts, the son of the King will run a limited (30 or 31 races) schedule as part of his transition to the broadcast booth.
BOBBY LABONTE 43 16TH 18TH
The '00 points champion had only three top 10s last year, his fewest since '94, but remains a resourceful racer who can rise to the occasion.

ENEMY LINES: AN INSIDER ON AN OPPOSING TEAM SIZES UP THE BEST OF THE REST

"I THINK Red Bull has a lot of good people in place, and they could surprise this season. I especially like AJ Allmendinger (right). He's a lot better than he showed last year.... Petty felt they had to move to be able to compete, but they just don't have the talent to consistently run well.... You've got to admire Robby Gordon's tenacity. It's impossible to be competitive as a single-car team, but he's out there doing his thing, and every once in a while he'll surprise you and run well."

5
BEST finish by a Red Bull Racing Team driver in '07—Vickers at Charlotte. The team had four other top 10s, all by Vickers.

PHOTOHENDRICK: DAVID E. KLUTHOGordon THREE PHOTOSMICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTONIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOGIBBS: BILL FRAKESStewart PHOTOGEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES THREE PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOROUSH: SAM SHARPEEdwards PHOTORUSTY JARRET/GETTY IMAGES THREE PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTORCR: SAM SHARPEHarvick PHOTONIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOMARK J. REBILAS/US PRESSWIRE PHOTONIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOEVERNHAM: BILL FRAKESKahne THREE PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTODEI: MARK J. REBILAS/US PRESSWIRETruex PHOTOSAM SHARPE PHOTOSAM GREENWOOD/GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR TWO PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOPENSKE: ALAN SMITH/ASP/CAL SPORT MEDIABusch TWO PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOSAM SHARPE PHOTOGANASSI: SAM SHARPEMontoya PHOTOMATTHEW THACKER/ASP/CAL SPORT MEDIA TWO PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOWALTRIP: RUSTY JARRETT/GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCARWaltrip TWO PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOSAM SHARPE PHOTONIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOSAM SHARPEVickers PHOTONIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCKGordon PHOTOALAN SMITH/ASP/CAL SPORT MEDIA THREE PHOTOSNIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK PHOTOTODD WARSHAW/GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)