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Story lines: 2008

Jay Hart
Yahoo Sports

Here is a look at the top 10 storylines heading into 2008 Sprint Cup season:

10. What will Tony do?

Tony Stewart's contract ends after the 2009 season, but he has said he wants to figure things out before then. Re-signing with Joe Gibbs Racing would have been a no-brainer, but that was before JGR's move to Toyota.

9. Will the CoT do what it's supposed to?

After running a partial schedule in 2007, the Car of Tomorrow becomes the full-time car of today in 2008. Will the new car generate better racing on the track and provide financial relief off it?

8. What about the open-wheelers?

Juan Pablo Montoya has paved the way for Jacques Villeneuve, Sam Hornish Jr., Dario Franchitti and Patrick Carpentier. How will they transition from open-wheel to stock cars?

7. Will GEM rebound?

Kasey Kahne won six races in 2006; none in '07. Now that George Gillett has taken control at Gillett-Evernham Motorsports, will that mean success for Kahne or will it be a change in name only?

6. Will Jack Roush re-sign Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle?

Both Edwards and Biffle are entering the last year of their contracts. With Roush having to pare down his five-car stable to four by 2010, will Edwards and Biffle be re-signed to long-term contracts, or will the paring begin early?

5. Will TV ratings continue to slip?

Fewer viewers are tuning in to watch races. While that trend is not limited to racing, it's still disturbing for NASCAR's front office. Will Dale Jarrett help things in the ESPN booth?

4. Will NASCAR actually go "back to the basics?"

Brian France laid it down, now it's up to him to show he means business. He said he'll allow drivers to be themselves; he said he'd look into making race weekends more affordable; he said the changes were going to stop. He talked the talk, now will he walk the walk?

3. Can Jimmie Johnson three-peat?

Only one driver, Cale Yarborough, has won three Cup championships in a row. Jimmie Johnson has two and counting. We know he'll be there at the end, but can he go back-to-back-to-back?

2. Will Toyota become a player?

The Japanese automaker stumbled in its debut Cup season. But that was before Joe Gibbs Racing signed on. With Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch in their garage, will Toyota get to victory lane and can one of these three drivers challenge Hendrick's dominance?

1. How will Junior do?

Do we really need to recap? Okay, we will.

Junior left Dale Earnhardt Inc. for Hendrick Motorsports, home of the two-time defending Cup champion. Will Junior, driving the No. 88, find success with NASCAR's most dominant team? All eyes will be watching.

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