Race Weekend Central

Driven to the Past: When it was a Lot More Fun…

ARCA has also progressed to the point where it is now a top-flight sanctioning body, and Marcum can be proud of what it has become. No more rolling into a track and letting the local officials handle things. One of my favorite memories of ARCA involves the last race on their schedule in the 1977 season. It was at Salem, and Moose Myers was leading the points by a slim margin, driving Jim Stovall’s No. 0 Chevrolet out of Fort Wayne, Ind. We didn’t have an ASA race that weekend, so I wandered over from Scottsburg to watch. That’s always been one of my favorite tracks, and it still is. I’d be there pretty often if I could still travel.

Thompson in Turn 5: Old Controversies, the No. 8 & Aric Almirola are Shelved

On Wednesday, it was reported that the No. 8 Chevrolet team of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will be scuttled immediately, removing themselves off the entry list for the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway next Saturday night. And with the news everyone has expected for days now becoming official, two separate issues that had been “hot-button topics” over the last two seasons have converged and been simultaneously resolved in a most unceremonious manner.

Voices from the Heartland: For Johnny Benson, Sponsorship vs. Coverage Should Be a Moot Point

It was reported this last week that the defending Camping World Truck Series champion, Johnny Benson, had a sponsorship dilemma. The team’s lack of sponsorship was already well known. The problem was, Johnny and his Red Horse Racing team now have a sponsor lined up… however, they were told that if he used the said sponsor, the networks that cover the races would not give him coverage.

Fanning the Flames: Victory Lane’s Ultimate “D’Oh!” Moment

Q: Matt, do you think it would have been a better career move for David Gilliland to have signed with RCR for a full-time Busch ride the year after he won his first Busch race at Kentucky in June of 2006 instead of signing with Yates Racing for a Cup ride? I guess that is assuming the RCR full-time Busch ride wasn’t just a rumor.

Mirror Driving: How the Cookie Cutter Crumbles, Jeff Gordon’s Place in History & Big Apple Blues

Jeff Gordon notched his 82nd career victory in the Samsung 500 last weekend. Where will he end up on the all-time wins list, and what will Gordon be remembered for years down the line?

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

Jeff Gordon’s large winless streak came to an end Sunday in Texas – where everything is big. But while Gordon had a giant weight lifted off his shoulders, other drivers felt huge swings in the points. Greg Biffle gained eight spots in the standings after his third-place Texas run, while Mark Martin’s sixth-place finish gained him nine positions. AJ Allmendinger’s ignition issues relegated him to a 34th-place finish and lost him five spots in the points, while Kevin Harvick and Michael Waltrip each lost four places after lousy runs. Inside the top 12, most drivers changed at least one spot, with Matt Kenseth leading the charge, climbing three spots to ninth after running fifth in Texas. Gordon also is seeing his points lead stretch, as you will find out in this week’s list of HOT, WARM and COLD drivers.

Fan’s View: I Watched a Great NASCAR Race!

I found the race. I rediscovered the thrill. And I didn’t do it in my living room. On Sunday afternoon, I headed out to Thompson International Speedway for the Whelen Modified Series Icebreaker 2009. There I shook hands with all the drivers before they took to the track. Jamie Tomaino, one of several grinning series champions and veterans, fingered his Disney “Tow-Mater” hat and got ready for his 500th start in the series. Reigning champ and series bad-boy Ted Christopher chatted about staying comfortable in the car with ’03 champ Todd Szegedy. All of them looked at the blue skies and agreed, this was a great day for the first race of the season in the Northeast.

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

How fitting is it that Jeff Gordon’s 47-race winless streak comes to an end at a track where he’s been winless for his entire career? Gordon was strong for much of the race, but it was a combination of a good pit stop by the No. 24 bunch and yet another poor stop by the No. 99 team that led to the coveted clean air needed for Gordon to pull away for the victory. The win may have been a long time coming, but it certainly wasn’t a surprise with the way the No. 24 team has been running this season.

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