Halfway There, Nextel Cup Race Over for Most
Nascar field split into top four ... and the rest
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2007 1:00 AM CDT
Tony Stewart, left, and Kevin Harvick, right, talk in the garage area during practice for Saturday's Bank of America 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup auto race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Thursday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Nextel Cup hunt is over for the majority of Nascar drivers who qualified for "The Chase" only four races in. Competition at the top of the pile remains fierce, with Jeff Gordon sitting first and Jimmie Johnson only one point behind.  But the gap in the points ranking opens wide beyond them, and many veteran racers find themselves in limbo, reports CBS Sportsline.

Kyle Busch, who is 260 points behind Gordon, let his frustration spill over Tuesday, saying "The team wants to be optimistic, and they want me to be optimistic, but I am sorry, it is just the realism of what has happened that sets in." Another favorite, Jeff Burton, who was on top a year ago, is now dead last in the standings.