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Original Issue

Inside: The Week In Sports

First Nextel Cup win just a matter of time for RCR's sterling sophomore Clint Bowyer • Garage insider: It's his team at Joe Gibbs Racing that has Denny Hamlin going strong

Even with a salary cap, wealthy teams land marquee players by offering front-loaded contracts • Free agents spurn Montreal and Edmonton • Wayne Gretzky sweats but gets his top choice

CHECKERED PASS A winner in only his second Nextel Cup start, in 2002, Jamie McMurray had gone another 166 races without a victory before last Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona. McMurray (26) nipped Kyle Busch at the finish line to win by 0.005 of a second, equaling the second-closest finish since NASCAR went to electronic timing in 1993.


Photograph by Don Montague/AP