NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Articles

Indy: A Better Tire This Time Around!

There has been a lot of racing miles run and a lot of rubber laid down since what Turn 5 believes to have been the biggest embarrassment for the National Association for Stock Car Racing in recent memory occured; however, it has only been one-year since NASCAR, its tire supplier and Indianapolis Motor Speedway partnered up to host the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard – a race that could only be run in 10-12 lap increments, a race that forever more will be a low point for the sanctioning body, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., and the famed Speedway. To refresh memories – it wasn’t long before all concerned, and particularly Sprint Cup drivers, noticed that they had a serious tire wear problem during Saturday’s practice leading up to the Sunday race. It was not a typical tire wear issue either--one that some teams might experience while others, running more conservative set-ups were immune from--this was a garage-wide problem of severe tire degradation occurring in as little as seven laps for most teams. After meeting with the teams and Goodyear, NASCAR made the decision to throw a “competition caution” after the first 10 laps. Although the plan bought the sanctioning body some time, it did nothing to address the problem.

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Mirror Driving: Double-File Disaster?, Ford’s Floundering Season, And Gibbs Dominance… In Nationwide

*After several late incidents at Chicagoland Speedway, several drivers blamed the double-file restarts for the problem. Was it the rule or the drivers themselves at the root of the problems on Saturday night?* Kurt: No one knows how to handle it yet. Amy: Exactly. They need to settle down, take a deep breath and figure it out.

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Top Ten Things Drivers Will Do On Their Week Off

_Greetings faithful Frontstretch fans! Jeff Meyer is "on assignment" this week (which means, as he says, that if you are there and want to pay for it, FS might get a story out of it), so we've asked Kurt Smith to take time out of his busy schedule to fill in on our weekly Top Ten list! This week, Kurt lets us know what certain high-profile drivers will be doing this Sunday as NASCAR takes a much needed week off. Thanks for reading... and hope you enjoy it!_ *10) Michael Waltrip:* _Finally_ gets out of the NAPA firesuit, which has to be getting pretty foul by this point. *9) Jeff Gordon:* Spends weekend going over the finer points of that pre-nuptial agreement yet again.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Edition

The twosome of NASCAR races at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend seemed to be shaping up in the same, slow way that we have come to grow used to at Joliet, Illinois' cookie-cutter track. On Friday, the Nationwide Series race was nothing more than a parade of small floats attempting to give chase to the behemoth balloon that is the Joe Gibbs Racing's Toyota-powered team. Saturday’s Cup race wasn't much better, as the nose of Mark Martin’s Kellogg’s Chevy inhaled clean air and simply dominated, surrendering the point only to Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson at times. Then, all of a sudden, came those last 50 laps…

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NASCAR: Take Your Double-File Restarts to the Back of the Class

Ok folks, I’m gonna try not to rant. It’s gonna be difficult, but I will make an effort. Whose idiotic idea was double file restarts anyway? This sensation sweeping through the highest echelons of our sport seems to indicate we’ve found something new. That is just malarkey… bologna… cow pies… …

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Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Lifelock 400 at Chicagoland Edition

*ONE: Will Martin Truex Jr. make the Chase in his first year at MWR?* *_Fan Vote -- YES: 63%; NO: 38%_* It was a move Martin Truex, Jr. had to make. The No. 1 Earnhardt-Ganassi team has been in disarray all season long, and Truex has felt the effects with just three top 10s and a current 24th spot in the driver standings. A move to Michael Waltrip Racing may not be a jump to a perennial powerhouse, but it’s a move that could reap benefits as both David Reutimann and Marcos Ambrose have shown that the team does harness potential. The million dollar question is, though, will the partnership between Truex and Waltrip lead to a Chase berth in 2010?

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Bubble Breakdown: Late Race Trouble Negates Good Efforts from Paul Menard and Brad Keselowski

News from the bubble this past week was dominated by the announcement from Michael Waltrip Racing, who not only re-signed primary sponsor NAPA to a multi-year deal but also upgraded the cockpit of the car by signing two-time Busch Series Champion and one-time Chase participant Martin Truex, Jr. for 2010. Waltrip will drive up to 12 races next season in a No. 55 Toyota, cutting back his schedule, while Truex will drive the full slate in the newly-renumbered No. 56 NAPA-sponsored car. Truex will also get the owner points that the No. 55 team earns in 2009, which means he will almost certainly have a guaranteed starting spot in the season’s first five races in 2010. So, with one of our bubble teams making improvements for next year, would any others step up and try to grab the limelight? Read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown for the Lifelock.com 400 from Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

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NASCAR And The “Citizen Journalist”

_Editor’s Note: Kurt Smith is currently in Las Vegas losing both his proverbial and metaphorical behind. Since he won’t be able to recoup his losses without his salary of untold millions contracted in a per-column basis, he gave us his thoughts on NASCAR’s recent edict allowing “Citizen Journalists” media access to Cup garages. He would have talked about it sooner, but Matt McLaughlin beat him to it, and Matt was more qualified to comment anyway. But at any rate, we hope you enjoy Kurt’s thoughts on the subject…and thanks for reading commentary from the People’s Republic of the Frontstretch!_ As most of you know, recently NASCAR renewed their efforts to connect with its most devoted fans, with the initiation of the “NASCAR Citizen’s Journalist Media Corps." The idea is to allow writers from NASCAR-themed websites the same media access to garages and pressrooms and such that had previously been offered only to newspaper and television types.

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Driven To The Past: Cadillacs On The Track

As you might expect, I check over a lot of websites and message boards looking for stuff from the past that reminds me of things that have happened. I don’t remember which site or board it was, but last week somebody asked about whether anybody had tried a Cadillac in big-time stock car racing. Racing what would now be called a “high end” car isn’t new. A Lincoln won the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race in 1949, and I think Frank Mundy drove a Cadillac in that one. Lincolns figured prominently in the early years, and they also had quite a record in the old Carrera Panamericana, or Mexican Road Race. And, of course, the Chrysler 300 teams of the 1950s were dominant in their era. Cadillac, however, has for some reason always been perceived as a pure luxury car.

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