NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: AJ Allmendinger Creeps Closer to First-Ever Trip Inside Top 35

Set up in the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania is NASCAR’s tricky triangle known as Pocono Raceway. Like Indy, it’s a track that can be a nightmare to set up the car, as it has three straightaways all of different lengths, as well as three completely different types of turns. To make matters worse for teams and drivers, Mother Nature reared her ugly head all weekend. But despite all the wet weather, the sun did manage to shine down on some of our bubble teams by the time the checkered flag flew. So, read on to see which teams basked in the sun’s warm glow — and which teams wound up all wet in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Elvis is in the Yard!

I had some folks in from out of town for my birthday that used to help me early in my racing career and we still remain friends today. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I had some friends come in from Mr. Mitchell’s family from southwest Texas, and Lisa and Michael Mitchell attended the birthday party. We had over 100 guests, I believe, and had a really nice time. Even the King performed in my backyard and that was cool. Not everybody can say that Elvis has performed in their backyard! We had a private band and we had a good time.

Nuts for Nationwide: Adios Mexico, Now Only Canada Remains on NASCAR’s International Slate

So the rationale for scratching the Mexican race and shifting focus to the NASCAR Corona Series makes sense. Investing in organic growth with Mexican drivers and races at tracks throughout the country – rather than the one big one bang approach – is much more likely to produce long-term results. And on the flip side another American circuit will pick up an all-important race date. The word is the Iowa Speedway will be the lucky recipient, but it’s not hard to question the wisdom of the timing of the announcement. This is especially the case with this coming weekend’s scheduled trip north of the border to Canada and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. The 2.71-mile road course is set on picturesque, man-made, Notre-Dame Island in the middle of the St Lawrence River and is no stranger to top level motorsports, having hosted Formula 1 races since 1979. This year’s race, held in early June, was the 30th time the F1 circus has visited Montreal and the race is widely recognized as one of the most popular on the circuit.

Fanning the Flames: Strong Fan Reaction Makes This a Brickyard Backlash

Q: “This isn’t Russia, is it Brian France? Is this Russia?” Because the last time I checked, competition is what the USA and NASCAR were all about. Eliminating that competition by forcing every team to use Goodyear tires is just asking for an Indy-style meltdown. If teams have the option to drive a Toyota or Chevy, they should be able to ride on Bridgestone, Firestone, or Hoosier tires.

Biggest BSNEWS Scoop of the Year! 1 Word: Indianapolis

(BSNEWS – Indianapolis) — Last Sunday’s Allstate 400, presented by NASCAR and Goodyear at the fabled “Brickyard…”

And now, back to our regularly scheduled column…

In all seriousness, the big news this week was, as so aptly covered by the BSNEWS team, the fiasco that was Indianapolis. But since it is now so late in the week, and you are probably sick of hearing about it, all I am going to do is throw in a couple of observations — and maybe make fun of a few Goodyear quotes.

First of all, there was no need for NASCAR to keep using the competition caution throughout the whole race.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: How to Pick Your Team to Perform at Pocono

What does this weekend in the Poconos hold for the Sprint Cup Series – and for your team? Was Kasey Kahne’s win earlier this year a fluke? Can Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon continue their strength from Indianapolis? Will Carl Edwards regain his past glory on the big triangle? More dependable than a Goodyear tire on a diamond ground race surface, this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans will tell you which ones you should have on your roster – and who needs to stay in the chalet enjoying wine and cheese.

Thompson in Turn 5: It’s Not Personal, It’s About Performance – Kyle Petty’s Time to Step Down

The latest news out of Petty Enterprises Inc. has Chad McCumbee penciled in to drive the No. 45 Dodge in place of Kyle Petty at Pocono. This is the second unscheduled absence in as many weeks by the 30-year NASCAR Cup veteran, and very possibly an indication that his career as a driver may abruptly be coming to a close. The 48-year-old Petty, who for the second year in a row took six races off to be a color analyst for TNT’s Sprint Cup broadcasts, had also been scheduled to race last week at Indianapolis. Instead, two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte — who relieved Petty during his TV sabbatical — drove the car in what was an apparent last-minute decision by team management. At the very least, the son of stock car legend Richard Petty appears far from a lock to drive for the team in 2009 — or even for the rest of 2008.

Mirror Driving: Assessing Indy Blame, Fixing Goodyear Tires & Replacing Mexico City

Sunday’s debacle at Indianapolis was a disappointment, but it’s not the first time. The same thing happened last year to a lesser degree — although the track eventually rubbered up — and it happened at Charlotte a few years back. Did NASCAR handle this situation right under the circumstances that developed? If not, what should the sanctioning body have done, and what should they do to make sure it never happens again?

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