Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game: 2008 NASCAR Championship Edition

1st For a crew chief. Chad Knaus becomes first in NASCAR Cup history to win three consecutive championships. 1 DNF in 2008 for Jimmie Johnson – a blown engine in the Coca-Cola 600. 3rd Consecutive Cup championship for Johnson (2006-08), tying the feat previously set by Cale Yarborough (1976-78). 3 Wins and eight top 10s …

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Happy Hour: A Meaningful NASCAR Finale

In 35 races so far this NASCAR season, we’ve seen the sport’s matinee idol perform well, but not spectacularly in his first season with a top team. We’ve seen an amazing stretch of races where a champion who scored the most points last season went winless. We’ve seen a cocky young superstar explode for eight …

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Driven to the Past: He’s Outta the Park

I found myself taking issue with something that was said during last weekend’s telecast of the Nationwide Series race at Phoenix. After a couple of bad restarts with some cars being wrecked, Dale Jarrett made the comment that the rule is that the leader can speed up anytime between the restart line and the start-finish …

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Fanning the Flames: Talking IROC, Driver Cash & the Perp Who Got Away With One

What, no questions about the ABC/ESPN2 fiasco this past week? I’m fairly shocked, but not entirely disappointed, as I believe we’ve run that topic out of Dodge. Maybe the grind has gotten to everyone so much that what would have been a huge uproar in March is taken with a shrug-of-the-shoulders and shake-of-the-head in November. …

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Voices From the Heartland: Don’t Worry! NASCAR is in Capable Hands for 2009 & Beyond

Yes, you read the headline correctly. And yes, you correctly (I hope) recognized right away that it is probably the best example of literary sarcasm ever written by me. As you read the following words, I want you to remember these two old adages. – It is better to remain silent and appear a fool …

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: How to Hold Your Own Homestead Trophy Celebration

The 2008 Sprint Cup season started 10 months ago in Daytona, traveled through the North, South, East and West; and now, it all comes down to this. After 35 races, your fantasy team is on the verge of taking home the trophy; or, you need to make a desperation move to get past the leader. …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Jamie McMurray – Predictions of His Demise Were Premature

Roush Fenway Racing appears to be heading into 2009 with all five of its cars hitting on all cylinders. Considering four of those men will finish the year 13th or better in Sprint Cup points, that’s hardly a big surprise. But to have the fifth car suddenly running with the rest… it’s something you couldn’t …

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Mirror Driving: Matt Kenseth’s Punt, Merger Meltdown & 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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