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Countdown looming and pressure mounting for bubble drivers

With two events remaining before the Countdown to the Championship begins in the NHRA, the matchups to watch in Minnesota are among those struggling to make the top eight, and thus the playoffs, writes Bill Stephens.

Updated: August 10, 2007, 2:09 PM ET
By Bill Stephens | ESPN.com

It's all about the Countdown.

This weekend, when the 26th Lucas Oil Nationals (ESPN2, Eliminations Sunday, 7-10 p.m. ET) light up Brainerd International Raceway in rural Brainerd, Minn., the NHRA stars competing in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will approach this event based on two simple criteria.

Whether they're in the elite eight, or whether they're not.

Two races remain in the first leg of the new Countdown to the ...

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