NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Articles

Mirror Driving: Matt Kenseth’s Punt, Merger Meltdown, And NASCAR’s TV Tragedy

After 4 1/2 hours and two delays, ABC made the decision to switch coverage of the race to ESPN2 so they could show America's Funniest Home Videos. Was that a serious blow to the sport, or an unavoidable move due to race length? And if Jimmie Johnson wasn't winning the race handily, would the network have made the same move?

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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN on ABC… Sort Of? Why The Plug Was Pulled On A Playoff Race

The final 11 races of the NASCAR season are supposed to be broadcast by the ESPN team on ABC’s airwaves. This seems like a good pairing, considering the fact that ABC holds no Sunday NFL contracts. That means in theory, races should have no conflict in being broadcast. Sunday’s race at Phoenix, however, stretched longer than anticipated due to two red flags that lasted about 45 minutes. At about 7:15 ET, with only 30 to 40 laps remaining, Allen Bestwick informed viewers that the coverage was shifting to ESPN2 for the final laps on the East Coast, because ABC had other programming commitments it could not work around. As a result, executives were forced to cut into the World Series of Poker on ESPN2 to air the race, surely infuriating fans of that show.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

Very rarely do you see a former champion show so much admiration for another. But when Kurt Busch finished runner-up to points leader Jimmie Johnson this weekend at Phoenix, he admitted that the No. 48 team was "something special," and told fans to tune in or come to watch NASCAR's next big dynasty. It's true that nobody has been able to touch Johnson, Chad Knaus, and Co. in the Chase, and this week's race was no different. Carl Edwards finished in the top five yet again, but lost points to the two-time defending champion, who won his seventh race of the year and increased his point lead to a nearly-insurmountable 141. Johnson and Edwards have certainly been in a league of their own these last few weeks, but who else has been HOT as the season winds down? Check out this week's edition of Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup, Chase Edition to find out.

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10 Points To Ponder… After the 2008 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

1. Monkey See... Monkey Do - The nip and tuck championship battle between Ron Hornaday and Johnny Benson Jr. continues after the two squared off at Phoenix Friday night in the Lucas Oil 150. The fact the two Craftsman Truck Series drivers continued their points fight was made more remarkable after Hornaday incurred significant damage to his Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet on the first lap of the race. Repairs to Hornaday’s truck took 29 laps to complete, and he wound up finishing 25th, 34 laps down. However, a lap 87 wreck with TJ Bell sent Benson behind the pit wall for extensive work on his Bill Davis Racing Toyota. The current point leader did return to the track to salvage a 26th-place finish in the final running order -- winding up one position behind Hornaday.

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Happy Hour: More Excitement? The Chase Hasn’t Even Done That

I’m not going to dwell on the irony that the title race would actually be closer without the Chase right now, although it is significant. As is often said, the rules are what they are and I’ve expounded plenty on what might have been. What I am questioning, though, is how a playoff format whose main goal was “more excitement”--a format that punishes performing drivers and teams unfairly and yet is justified in the name of “more excitement,” a format that has forsaken what had been a perfectly acceptable system for determining a NASCAR champion for “more excitement”--has produced, in four out of five years of its existence, some of the dullest title runs in recent memory?

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Driven To The Past: The Best Way To Slow A Racecar Down

Once again, one thing leads to another. In trying to explain how easy it is to misjudge a slower speed after you’ve been traveling really fast, I mentioned that I first heard the phrase “You lose your reference to zero” from Dick Trickle. He said that after the first ASA race at Milwaukee, on May 7, 1978. We had never run on anything bigger than a 5/8-mile track, so it stands to reason that most of our guys had never seen the kind of speeds they were experiencing on that big ol’ mile. Neither had I from the flagstand, actually. When the first car went out to qualify, I threw the green flag and then told the tower to wake me up when he got to turn 3.

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David Starr Driver Diary: New Sponsors and a Bright Future

Since the last diary, there have been a lot of changes for our Red Horse Racing team. At the end of September, Zachry Holdings Inc. joined our team as our primary sponsor for the rest of the 2008 season. I am so excited to have them on board. Zachry Holdings Inc. is an engineering construction company that is dedicated to the planning, building and renewing of our world’s most critical industrial facilities. They have over 25,000 employees nationwide and are just a really great, family company. Everyone at Red Horse Racing is excited to have them as a part of our family, and to have their name on our No. 11 Toyota Tundra. What’s really cool for us is that their No. 1 goal is their commitment to safety, and that really fits what we do in the Craftsman Truck Series. Obviously we are always trying to beat our competitors and get that extra edge, but one of the top priorities is safety.

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