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Budget-conscious Champions Week a sign of the times

NASCAR's annual pilgrimage to the Big Apple isn't all fun and games. Economic uncertainty has put a damper on this year's festivities, writes David Newton.

Updated: December 3, 2008, 7:04 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- The clocks in the New York Stock Exchange were winding toward the bottom of the hour on Wednesday ... 9:29:22, 9:29:37. The traditional hand clapping from the crowded trading floor intensified in anticipation of the opening bell.

Slam! Jimmie Johnson hit the button to set off the ring from the balcony overlooking this sea of computers and neon lights.

At 9:29:48.

He couldn't help himself. The owner of the past three Sprint Cup ...

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