Articles

Blue Smoke and Burnt Rubber: Talk at the Track #6

This is C.J. Parker reporting from Raleigh Police Headquarters with breaking news concerning the disappearance of Cody Dunhurst, the 26 year old assistant to GSCA series director Stan Fielding. Miss Dunhurst has been missing since last Thursday. She was last seen at Danny O’ Flynn’s nightclub, The Double Malt Bar. …

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Grading The 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part Two

*Hendrick Motorsports* (Nos. 5, 24, 25, 48, 88) *Stats:* 4 Wins, 15 Top 5s, 22 Top 10s in 47 starts *Best Driver:* Jeff Gordon (1 Win, 8 Top 10s, Point Leader) Danny: They only get the minus because of Junior. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for Rick Hendrick’s fantastic four. *Grade: A-.* Tom: What they’ve done this season is so impressive, I think Junior doesn’t even matter at this point. Hendrick has formed the model of the satellite team (the way to get around a four-car limit) while drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are the ones to beat for this year’s title. Oh, and there’s a 50-year-old named Mark Martin who’s on track to win six races. What more do you want? OK, OK I hear ya Junior Nation… but if the Tony Eury, Jr. era is truly over, it’s just a matter of time before he picks it up. *Grade: A.*

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Fanning the Flames: Talking All-Stars, 600s And Lawn Mowers

*Hi Matt. So the natural question this week would be how many guys have won the All-Star Race and the Coke 600 in the same year? Just trying to keep you on your toes! Thanks!* _— Ann Florence_ *A:* Good lookin’ out, Ann. Six drivers have pulled the double, and no one has done so more than once. Six times in the 24-year history of the All-Star/600 double clocks in at just about a quarter of the time, so 2011 is the next target date

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The Jury Is Still Out On Scott Speed, A.J. Allmendinger Swap

When in the Fall of last season it was announced by Red Bull Racing that it had relieved A.J. Allmendinger of his duties behind the wheel of the Red Bull No. 84, the news was met with a considerable amount of skepticism within the NASCAR community. It made little sense to many to replace Allmendinger, especially after a drastic improvement in performance during his sophomore campaign with not just NASCAR, but stock cars as well. The news was met with even more raised eyebrows when it was clear that Allmendinger’s replacement for 2009 was a fellow open-wheel driver with little stock car experience in his own right... Scott Speed. To be fair, Allmendinger’s introduction to stock car racing in '07 had been nothing short of a disaster.

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Taming the Beast of the Southeast

With the All-Star Race behind us, it’s back to points racing with one of NASCAR’s most prestigious and demanding events, the season’s only 600-mile race. Since its repaving, Lowe’s Motor Speedway has been home to fast and treacherous competition, with side by side in the corners proving next to impossible to control for drivers struggling with the handling of their race cars. A true test of man and machine, Sunday’s race will be a battle of attrition and adjustment as the track transitions from day to night. But just like Jeff Gordon’s back, the Frontstretch Fantasy Insider is ready to get your fantasy teams through 600 miles…and when our picks go three-wide, expect them to come out unscathed.

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Mirror Driving: Tony The Title Contender?, A NASCAR-IRL Promotional Blunder, And Waltrip Playing Favorites

*Tony Stewart took home the million dollar prize in Saturday’s All-Star Race. Does this signal the beginning of a third championship run for Stewart, or is that too much to ask, too soon, for a team without a points win to date?* Bryan: Tony Stewart is a legit title contender, period… and that points win is a matter of when, not if. Vito: It's a nice story. Remember though, they haven't had any bad luck come their way yet. I think they will be a contender in a year or so. Amy: I also think SHR is a year away. Plus, come Chase time do you really think they will get equal stuff to the other Hendrick boys? That said, Tony Stewart is the best driver in NASCAR, period. He'd be a legit contender in a rusty Pinto.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 All-Star Race Edition

Tony Stewart took Lowe’s Motor Speedway by storm Saturday night, as the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy smelled victory and found it in the 25th annual All-Star Race. Stewart’s first win as a driver/owner and first All-Star win came in a race that saw tepid-at-best racing in the first three segments turn into a barn-burning, fender-banging mix of talent and anarchy in the final 10-lap showdown. Stewart’s triumph, combined with the string of recent success at Stewart-Haas Racing, makes him the *HOTTEST* driver on the circuit. Richard Childress Racing’s poor showing at Lowe’s and, it seems, at almost every track of late, makes that whole team among the *COLDEST* in the sport.

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Side By Side: Is the Daytona 500 Now Bigger than the Indy 500?

*Today's Question: With the struggles of open-wheel racing over the last 15 years, the Indy 500 has struggled to maintain its national appeal. Considering NASCAR's explosive growth over the same time period, is it fair to say at this point the Daytona 500 is the biggest race in North America?* Bryan: The face of motorsports has changed in North America. NASCAR, not open-wheel racing, is the top of the pyramid. The Rick Mears and A.J. Foyts of this generation are not going to be racing in Indianapolis this weekend... they’re going to be in Charlotte. Phil: While it is definitely true that the Daytona 500 has eclipsed the Indianapolis 500 in TV ratings, and NASCAR, despite its recent slide, has many times the average viewership of the IndyCar Series, the Indianapolis 500 is still the bigger of the two major auto races. Remember, TV ratings are not the only factor for how "big" a race is. The race at Indianapolis, by over a hundred thousand fans, still attracts a bigger race day crowd than the Daytona 500 does. And that's just for starters...

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Numbers Game: 2009 Sprint All-Star Race

0.971 Tony Stewart‘s margin of victory over Matt Kenseth Saturday in the Sprint All-Star Race. 1 Number of times winner Stewart led the Sprint All-Star Race Saturday. 1 Driver transferred the the Sprint All-Star Race through a fan vote. (No. 20, Joey Logano) 1 hour, 30 minutes, 47 seconds Time …

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