Articles

Talking NASCAR TV: Verizon Uses FOX To Work Around Sponsorship Ban

Well, we’re through pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Budweiser Shootout. As your TV critic, it is my duty to look everything over and pass some judgment on it; and starting this week and throughout all of 2009, I plan on doing just that. With the departure of the Daly Planet from the NASCAR scene last week, this column remains one of a select few that touches on television's role with NASCAR -- and I’ll do my best to meet that challenge head on. As I grow into this role, I hope to be what LeAnne Schreiber is for ESPN, someone that people can come to about their issues with TV coverage and get them addressed (although Schreiber is also on the verge of leaving her post). Of course, my duties are limited to covering just NASCAR TV programming... but I hope to have the same type of effect.

Read More »

Martin Truex Jr. Claims the Pole for the 2009 Daytona 500

On Sunday, Martin Truex Jr., with a lap of 47.872 seconds (188.001 mph), claimed the pole for the 51st running of the Daytona 500, which rolls off on February 15. Truex’s margin over second-place Mark Martin was only 47 thousandths of a second. These two drivers are locked into their starting spots for the Daytona 500. After the nearly three-hour qualifying session ended, Truex was all smiles.

Read More »

Kevin Harvick Battles Back from Losing the Draft to Win the 2009 Budweiser Shootout

Sometimes, history can, in fact, repeat itself. In a scenario very similar to the one that allowed Kevin Harvick to win the Daytona 500 back in 2007, a lane opened up on the high side at the end of the backstretch on the final lap. Harvick took advantage of the hole, took the lead away from Jamie McMurray on the last lap, and then benefitted from a crash that froze the field to claim victory in Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout. However, it was not that easy. Harvick hit the wall early on in the race and lost the draft, but was saved by the second caution, when David Reutimann and David Stremme crashed.

Read More »

Talking NASCAR TV: 4 Big Offseason Changes For 2009

After a long offseason -- seemingly made even longer due to SPEED Channel’s near complete lack of offseason motorsports programming (which is another rant for another day), we’re coming up to the beginning of the season. Now, most of what viewers will see this year in NASCAR telecasts will be similar, if not the same as in past years. However, there will be a few changes.

Read More »

2008 Driver Review: David Reutimann

David Reutimann knew coming into 2008 that he was going to have to adjust to higher expectations after Bristol in March, as he would be replacing veteran Jarrett behind the wheel of the big-money sponsor UPS Toyota. At least Michael Waltrip Racing made the transition easier on the sophomore driver by allowing crew chief Ryan Pemberton and Co. to make the move to the No. 44 with Reutimann -- but to start the season, they'd all be working on the No. 00. Just qualifying for the first five races of the season in that car was an improvement over 2007 for Reutimann, where he failed to qualify for two of the first five races, crashed out of two more, and finished 40th in the other. These early season runs did their job and set that car up well, giving rookie Michael McDowell a buffer to keep the No. 00 in the Top 35 well into the season.

Read More »

2008 Driver Review: Paul Menard

Paul Menard’s sophomore season provided some slight improvement. After the struggles that marked the early part of his rookie campaign, 2008 brought continued steadiness for him that marked his second half of 2007. Increasing his number of top-20 finishes from six to eight, Menard maintained the same low number of DNFs (two) and continued to race clean.

Read More »

Carl Edwards Wins 2008 Ford 400 at Homestead, Jimmie Johnson Claims 3rd Consecutive Championship

Carl Edwards led a race-high 157 laps, but still needed to stretch his fuel mileage to claim his series leading ninth victory of the year in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, Edwards’s best was still not good enough. “I’m sure glad we won today’s race because it will make it a little bit easier to deal with the offseason and coming so close to the championship,” Edwards said during the post-race press conference. “Second in both series [Sprint Cup and Nationwide] is not first, but it’s definitely not something to be ashamed of.”

Read More »

Jimmie Johnson Wins Again at Phoenix, Positions Himself to Win 2008 Cup Title at Homestead

Jimmie Johnson decided to channel his inner LeBron James on Sunday. Much like how James absolutely took over a playoff game (Game 5, 2007 Eastern Conference Finals) versus the Detroit Pistons on May 31, 2007 that helped launch the Cavaliers to their first NBA Finals appearance, Johnson took over Sunday’s race to stake his claim on the Sprint Cup championship. Johnson started from the pole, but did not take the lead until he passed Kurt Busch on lap 81. From there, Johnson led a race-high 217 laps on the way to his seventh victory of the season (third in the Chase).

Read More »

Tires at Talladega: What Caused the Failures?

This past weekend’s on-track action at Talladega Superspeedway will be remembered for three notable things: One is the shear number of lead changes (64, the most since the Talladega 500 in July, 1984). Another is the now infamous judgment call that gave Tony Stewart the victory and dropkicked Regan Smith back to 18th. However, the one factor that was prevalent all weekend were the tires and their propensity to fail, once again.

Read More »