NASCAR Race Weekend Central

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NASCAR Should Reconsider The Four Car Per Team Rule

At Darlington this past weekend, three of the top five finishing cars were from Hendrick Motorsports. The other two got their engines from Hendrick. A part time Hendrick team finished seventh, making six out of the top seven either Hendrick or Hendrick-affiliated teams. It was domination from one team that has rarely been seen in a single event. Looking through the glasses of NASCAR’s never-ending push for parity, it’s easy to look at the Darlington results and conclude that bigger teams have too much of an upper hand in this sport. That’s what glasses do. NASCAR’s well-meaning solution has been to place a limit on how many cars a team can field. Jack Roush is going to soon have to make a decision about whether to let go of David Ragan or Jamie McMurray, assuming he wants to hold on to Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, which is a safe assumption. As a result, one of those two drivers will be out of a ride and a team will be looking for work in what is not a promising economy. And none of that is going to make Robby Gordon any faster.

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Q&A with Miss Sprint Cup: Anne-Marie Rhodes

_You see her in Victory Lane after every week and sometimes you see double. Both Anne- Marie Rhodes and Monica Palumbo have been the faces of the reincarnation of Miss Winston, playing the role for mobile giant Nextel and then Sprint, after Sprint bought out the company and assumed the title sponsorship of the Cup Series. Rhodes sat down with Frontstretch.com’s Doug Turnbull at Talladega Superspeedway back in April to discuss the coming All-Star weekend, how she got the Miss Sprint Cup job, if she ever wants to get behind the wheel of a racecar, and the wildest things she has seen in Victory Lane._

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Blue Smoke and Burnt Rubber: Chapter 7

Thursday Night Raleigh, N.C. Chris pushed through the gyrating mob that filled the dance floor of O’Flynn’s Double Malt Bar. He waved at a couple crew members from the No. 47 team and their wives. Was that a new girl on the arm of Tommy Burke? This was always a …

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Fanning the Flames: Did Someone Say “10-Lap Shootout?”

*Matt, with all the changes the All-Star Race has undergone over the previous decade can you give me a rundown of who is eligible and what the new rules in place for this season’s race are? Thanks!* _— Thomas Bell, Sunbury, PA_ *A:* Good idea, Thomas. Let’s run this down real quick for use as a reference come Saturday night. Sixteen drivers are locked in to the All-Star Race by virtue of winning at least one points-paying race in 2008 and/or 2009. One driver, Bobby Labonte, is in by virtue of his Cup title in 2000, and Kevin Harvick is in as a past winner of the event.

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Time Is Ticking For Tony Eury, Jr.

Rumor and speculation continues to circulate in the NASCAR community this week that Tony Eury, Jr., crew chief of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet piloted by the sport's Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will soon be replaced. With no credible insider connected to the rumored change atop the pit box, it seems clear that any speculation concerning Eury’s job security is little more than an educated guess, but still a prediction that very well may prove to be accurate before the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway a week from Sunday. It is not necessary to be a Mensa member in good standing to conclude that Eury, Jr., first-cousin to Earnhardt, Jr., might be in jeopardy of losing his position at Hendrick Motorsports.

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BSNews! Real NASCAR News That Fits the Headline Title

For the last few days, I have been hearing some "busyness" going on in the BSNews room... which happens to be adjacent to my bedroom. There was a lot of thumping and bumping, the occasional "heated exchange," and the ever present "pphhhfffsssttt" of a beverage being opened. I just assumed that the crew was working on a big story and decided to leave them alone ... while keeping the refrigerator stocked with beverages, of course. However, as with most "assumptions," I was wrong.

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Driven To The Past: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

I’m getting a little tired of hearing Joey Logano referred to as “the best thing since sliced bread” as if it was something new. Understand me right, here--I don’t have anything at all against Joey Logano. He seems to be a pretty darned good race driver who was thrust into the top stock car series in the country maybe a year ahead of schedule. He’s dealing with that very well, in my opinion. The best thing I heard on the TV broadcast from Darlington was Greg Zipadelli telling him in so many words to just drive the car, they’d take care of the fixes. If there’s a beef I have against him, it’s that he might not understand how the cars really work, but that doesn’t make him unique among today’s drivers. A lot of them just climbed out of go-karts and into bigger cars and all they’ve done is drive. Quite a far cry from guys like the Allisons, DW, Rusty Wallace, and even Mark Martin, who had to help build their own cars. Like I said, though, the “sliced bread” quote is nothing new.

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Top Ten Excuses Jeremy Mayfield Gave For Failing The Drug Test

*10.* “I had dinner at Brian France’s place the other night. I thought the oregano in the spaghetti sauce smelled funny!” *9.* “I gave Shane Hmiel a ride home the other night and you know the old saying…grass, gas or ass, nobody rides for free! Well, he was broke and I wasn’t about to…well, you know!”

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Mirror Driving: Darlington On Steroids?, The Rookies Rally, And NASCAR On Drugs

*Jeremy Mayfield stated that his positive drug test was the result of a mix of legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs - in effect, a false positive. Did NASCAR do the right thing with its "suspend first, ask questions later" reaction, or should they have ordered and waited for a more complete toxicology test and report… even given that some tests may take several weeks before results are available?* Mike N.: They did the right thing. It is better for them to err on the side of caution, because you just cannot take someone's word for it when the test states something different. Kurt: All I can say is that denials are often untrue. In a perfect world, I would say wait; but in racing, I don't think NASCAR should take the chance.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Hot in Sprint Cup: 2009 Southern 500 Edition

If you are a sheet metal supplier and you live in or near the Charlotte, North Carolina area, congratulations -- you are about to be very rich. The first ever Springtime version of the Southern 500 may have been a potent mixture of high speeds on newer pavement -- but it also led to the same danger of race cars marring themselves with Darlington Stripes. As the race’s 367 laps wore on, many teams, both HOT and COLD, experienced and inexperienced, fell by the wayside at the feisty hands of the Track Too Tough To Tame, pushing the night’s caution total to a record-setting 17. In the end, a patient, steady veteran in Mark Martin may have been the star of the show, but rookies Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski also cracked the top 10 to show the Lady In Black isn't afraid to reward both young and old. With another challenging race in the books and a tight points battle remaining that way, here's the scoop on the HOT, WARM, and COLD drivers of the week as the Sprint Cup Series prepares for its annual All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

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