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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2014 NASCAR Driver Review: Brad Keselowski

2014 Texas II CUP Brad Keselowski CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Ride: No. 2 Penske Racing Ford Crew chief: Paul Wolfe Points finish: Fifth Stats: 6 wins, 17 top 5s, 20 top 10s, 5 poles, 1,540 laps led, one DNF, 12.6 average finish, 7.4 average start Best finish: First (Las Vegas, Kentucky, Loudon in July, Richmond in Sept., Chicago, Talladega) High point: In a win-or-be-eliminated scenario …

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2014 NASCAR Driver Review: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

2014 Richmond II CUP Ricky Stenhouse Jr car CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Ride: No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Crew chief: Mike Kelley Points finish: 27th Stats: 35 starts, zero wins, one top 5, five top 10s, zero poles, zero laps led, two DNFs, 22.4 average finish, 21.7 average start Best finish: Second (Bristol, March) High point: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. chased after his first Sprint Cup win …

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Racing to the Point: NASCAR’s One-Sided Tug of War

2014 Homestead CUP Ryan Newman smiling CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. @2014)

There’s been a tug of war going on for the last decade or so between lifelong NASCAR fans and NASCAR executives. The battle? For the sport’s soul. Lifelong fans started tugging on the rope to keep tradition and to not fix what wasn’t broken. NASCAR executives have been fighting to appeal to a broader audience …

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Racing to the Point: This Championship Means Something Different, No Matter Who Wins

2014 Richmond II CUP Chase field CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Ryan Newman could become the next Billy Horschel on Sunday. For those of you who don’t follow golf, Horschel came out of nowhere to win this year’s FedEx Cup, the PGA’s playoffs. He was the 69th-ranked player coming in, but overcame the odds to win the final two events and take home more than $11 …

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Racing to the Point: NASCAR Plays The Brawl Blame Game

2014 Mudsummer Classic Eldora Speedway Robin Pemberton Camping World Trucks Mike Neff 172

(Credit: Mike Neff, Frontstretch)

NASCAR executives probably spent Monday morning reveling in the media attention sparked by Sunday’s post-race fight. Then they spent Monday afternoon analyzing the video to dish out penalties for it. After all, that type of behavior can’t be tolerated – even if it’s exactly what NASCAR wanted, creating one hell of a strange disciplinary policy. …

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Racing to the Point: Harvick, Keselowski Must Dig Out of Same Hole

2014 Pocono II CUP Brad KEselowski Paul Wolfe CIA

A week after miraculously crawling out with a win at Talladega Superspeedway, Brad Keselowski is right back in a hole. He’s got two races at Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway to win again, or he’s likely out of the championship hunt. Same story as before, different venues. But here’s where the added drama …

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Racing to the Point: Despite Chaos, This Season’s Main Characters Still Alive

2014 Richmond II CUP Jeff Gordon CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

This season’s Chase for the Sprint Cup is like watching the final season of a really good, violent drama. You’ve come to terms with the fact that characters are going to be killed off, but you’re hoping it’s done the right way. In other words, don’t kill off Walter White and Rick Grimes in the …

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Racing to the Point: It’s Go Time for Jimmie Johnson

2014 Dover II CUP Jimmie Johnson car CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Don’t let that Kansas Speedway post-accident smile fool you; Jimmie Johnson’s back is against the wall. Here’s why: There are two races left before the next Chase cutoff – except Talladega isn’t really a race at all, but an embarrassing crapshoot where Steve Grissom had just as good of a chance at winning as Johnson. …

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Racing to the Point: Ward Family Still Searching for Answers

2014 Atlanta CUP Tony Stewart hand CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

While just about everybody else was throwing in their two cents about the Kevin Ward, Jr. tragedy and the ensuing grand jury case against Tony Stewart, I chose to hold back, sensing that adding my opinion to the fray wasn’t helping the Wards any in their healing process. Ward’s aunt Wendi Ward’s open letter in USA …

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Racing to the Point: BK, Swan Racing Strategies Have Failed

2014 Michigan II CUP Alex Bowman car CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

You know when you’re about 4 years old and you want to go in the pool, but you don’t know how to swim, so you’re just kind of standing by it, and then all of a sudden a family member takes you and throws you into the water because he or she thinks the best …

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Racing to the Point: What Kept Marcos Ambrose from Becoming a Great?

2014 Michigan I CUP Marcos Ambrose CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

With all of the spotlight on the winner-take-all race for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Marcos Ambrose probably won’t receive much attention in what will most likely be his final Sprint Cup race. He’ll run 29th, slip into the shadows and a year from now we’ll be trying to remember his name. Was it Marcus …

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Racing to the Point: Separating the Chase Contenders & Pretenders

2014 Richmond II CUP Ford Chase drivers CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

This new elimination-style playoff format has many people believing that some of the Chase underdogs have a chance at the title as along as they keep their noses clean and survive each round. I want to dispel that rumor right now. The cream is still going to rise to the top, as it always does. …

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