NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Voices from the Heartland: Is Brian France Stupid or Does He Not Understand the Word Contract?

In February, NASCAR CEO Brian France, on the subject of lower television ratings, said “my view on television ratings, I mean, we look at them a little bit longer cycle or window than maybe you would think we would. TV ratings, depending on storylines, other competing things that are going around, are going to go down and up a little bit. We don’t get too hung up on it. We went down a little bit. My expectation is we’ll be up in TV ratings in ’07 for the all the reasons I mentioned in my opening remarks, all the momentum we have that we didn’t have last year.”

Mirror Driving: Jeff Gordon No Longer Number 1? Is Parity in NASCAR Done? & Truck Series Fun…

Jimmie Johnson’s remarkable achievement of four wins in a row gave him double-digit victories for the first time since 1998, when teammate Jeff Gordon dominated the sport. Should Johnson continue on and win his second straight title, is it fair to say the No. 1 driver in the Hendrick stable is now him – not Gordon?

Thompson in Turn 5: Johnny Benson Didn’t Get The Memo

Apparently, Johnny Benson is not up to speed with what can only be titled the “new” NASCAR. That is, a NASCAR that endorses “team racing” as a legitimate and increasingly integral part of its sanctioned racing events. This became evident last Friday night during the running of the Craftsman Truck Series Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, when Benson passed his Bill Davis Racing teammate Mike Skinner to better his finishing position. The supposed problem with that? Skinner is a championship contender, running neck-and-neck with Ron Hornaday Jr. for a title in which every point will make a difference.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in the Chase: 2007 Checker Auto Parts 500k at Phoenix Edition

As the song by Herman’s Hermits says, “second verse, same as the first.” Well, in this case, the third and fourth verse are the same, too. Jimmie Johnson continued to make the Chase a bore by scoring his fourth straight win in Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500K, extending his lead to 86 over Jeff Gordon with just one race remaining on the schedule. While all eyes will firmly be on Johnson and Gordon, there are other drivers in the Chase peaking late in the season who are looking to end the year with a win.

1 Point To Ponder… Jimmie Johnson’s Dominance

For the fourth straight week, Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s team crushed the competition, turning whatever problems came their way into opportunities to win another race and, it now appears, another championship. Ironically, Johnson is the first driver to put together a four-race win streak since Jeff Gordon – the teammate he’s currently beating out for the title – back in 1998.

Bubble Breakdown: Kyle Petty Locked In For First 5 Races of 2008; Dave Blaney 1 Week Away

Homestead was supposed to be the race that not only decided a razor-thin Chase battle, but a Top-35 trio ready to pull out all the stops to ensure a “locked-in” spot for 2008. Now, it seems as if both competitions will turn out to be anti-climactic. With an 86-point lead, Jimmie Johnson needs merely a mid-pack finish to clinch his second straight title; along those same lines, Dave Blaney and the No. 22 may merely need to come home in one piece to get the job done. With the BDR Camry leading the Wood Brothers No. 21 for the final locked-in spot for 2008, in addition to Johnson’s dominance over the rest of the Chase contenders in the past month.

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