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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 3M Performance 400 at Michigan

1. Weather Woes – What if it rains again Tuesday and the race can’t be held? NASCAR says that the Michigan race would tentatively move to the end of the schedule and would be held on Thanksgiving weekend, making it the final race of the year. The New Hampshire race on September 16th would become the final “regular season” race, and the first Chase race would be Dover on September 23rd. There is still an outside chance that NASCAR could try to run the race on Wednesday, however.

Mirror Driving: We Need a Week Off, A Lack of Talent in the Busch Pool & Feeding Off The Craftsman Truck Series

The possibility of a race between the July off-week and the Chase being rained out is very real. Changing the Chase to accommodate that race is an expensive process, and very costly to both NASCAR and Homestead-Miami Speedway-is that just part of the game, or does NASCAR need to revise the schedule or the rulebook to accommodate this possibility?

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Still Good on Dirt

We’ve run two more races since the last diary, and these were pretty good races for our Power Stroke Diesel Team. We had a top-five finish at ORP, in the Power Stroke Diesel 200, and we just got finished with a top-10 run, a sixth-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway. We had a good run for Circle Bar Racing, David Starr and myself, with the International Maxx Force Diesel by International and the Power Stroke Diesel by International both in the top 10. The No. 10 and the No. 14 truck have been┬ácompetitive, and we’ve had a good couple of weeks.

Fanning the Flames: Who Wins in a Fight… Montoya or Harvick? The Blind Leading the Blind & More…

One of the most entertaining races of the season spurred some of the most thought-provoking inquiries I’ve received this year. Here’s to hoping Michigan provides us with the same on-track action and off-track queries from you fans at home. Without further ado, let’s delve right into the mailbag…

Voices from the Heartland: Simple Solutions for the New “Cingular” Logo Problem

It has often been said that I tend to see things a bit differently in comparison to most folks who call themselves normal. I do not consider that to be an insult, but more like a badge of honor, and it may, quite possibly, be the reason I like myself so much. Take this continuing stupid lawsuit nonsense concerning Cingular/AT&T and NASCAR/Nextel for example. In a nutshell, it goes something like this (for those casual fans that are just tuning in).

Thompson in Turn 5: Denny Hamlin Not Necessarily the 3rd Wheel Now at Joe Gibbs Racing

The one guy in the entire hubbub involving Kyle Busch’s move rarely mentioned is the third driver in the Gibbs stable, Denny Hamlin. It is apparently just assumed that though Hamlin is in only his second full year in the big leagues, he will not be deterred by the arrival of Busch and will merely continue to perform at the exceptional level that he has since his arrival in Cup racing.

Mirror Driving: Juan Pablo Montoya the Bully, Bonus Points, Silly! & Why No One’s Watching TV

Kevin Harvick refused to back off comments about Juan Pablo Montoya’s aggressive driving after Sunday’s race, wreck… and fight. Is this the first of a long line of drivers we’ll see standing up to the Colombian, or was Harvick out of line for what he said? How long do you think we’ll see this rivalry linger?

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Nextel Cup: 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen Edition

This weekend’s race featured a spin to win, two drivers putting in their NASCAR best effort to pull each other’s hair out after a wreck, and a crazed fan making his way onto the track during a red flag… just to ask for an autograph. Makes it sound like an August Cup race at Bristol, doesn’t it? But instead, this was what transpired from what began as a tranquil Sunday afternoon in western New York. Shocked? So were many of the fans who watched this year’s edition of the Centurion Boats at the Glen. But they weren’t the only ones happy to see a surprising series of twists and turns that matched the road course’s 2.45-mile layout. Perhaps the biggest smile on the day came from stunned race winner Tony Stewart, who inherited the top spot as NASCAR’s winningest road racer, Jeff Gordon, spun in turn 1 with just two laps to go, relinquishing the lead and 10 bonus points to his longtime rival in the process.

Numbers Game: 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen

0 – Autographs signed while racing the Centurion Boats at the Glen. During the red flag period for the Kevin Harvick/Juan Pablo Montoya incident, a fan came out on the track to ask Matt Kenseth for his John Hancock. Claiming he was a “little busy,” Kenseth refused – as the fan was quickly arrested and dragged off by security.

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen

1. Exasperated with ESPN – I have heard very few positive comments about ESPN’s NASCAR coverage since they took over the race broadcasts after a seven-year absence. But today’s post-race “coverage” was abysmal, showing just two driver interviews (Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon) before switching to SportsCenter and its seemingly endless coverage of baseball and football. Despite promising race fans that they would return to the Glen for more post-race coverage during SportsCenter, they simply replayed the same interviews that had already aired. Completely unacceptable.

Bubble Breakdown: Wood Brothers Racing Benefits From NASCAR’s Stubbornness

One day after rain washed out qualifying sending road-course ace Boris Said and the No. 60 SoBe No Fear Racing team home, Bill Elliott generously offered his Wood Brothers seat to Said in an effort to move the No. 21 car back into the Top 35. It was the second straight race in a span of two months that Said was not even given the opportunity to qualify for the event because of mother nature, NASCAR’s pitiful Top 35 rule and lack of effort to alter the schedule to fit in qualifying. Although he got a ride in the end Said wasn’t afraid to voice his frustrations about what NASCAR’s ruling did to his good friend and car owner Mark Simo. “For a part-time team, you don’t get to race that much, and two races in a row get taken away. I don’t understand why the schedule can’t be adjusted and just qualify tomorrow when it’s going to be sunny,” he said. “It’s just hard for a small team. It pretty much puts us out of business. It puts me out of business. It’s just a lot of income lost.”