NASCAR Race Weekend Central

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Dickies 500 at Texas

1. Your Year – How many times did Rusty Wallace say at the end of today’s race, “When it’s your year, it’s your year” in reference to Jimmie Johnson? The irony is that up until a few weeks ago, that phrase had been used almost exclusively to describe Jeff Gordon’s 2007 season. The No. 48 team has certainly been strong in the Chase, winning three straight races now and taking a 30-point lead heading to Phoenix. But let’s not forget that under the old points system (irrelevant, but still) Gordon would have a 400+ point lead over Johnson with two races to go. Maybe it’s a little premature to put the crown on Johnson just yet…

Bubble Breakdown: Accident Claims Bill Elliott, Kyle Petty; Boosts Dave Blaney in Top-35 Race

This was supposed to be the time of year the battle for a “locked-in” spot for the first five races of 2008 heated up in Nextel Cup. In fact, this was supposed to be the time that the Top-35 battle was just as intense as the Chase. But with just two races now remaining, it appears that the 35th and final spot will be all but secured heading into Homestead, after a lap 129 accident ended any hope of a good run for the team currently 36th in owner points, the No. 21 of Bill Elliott.

David Starr Driver Diary: 22 Down, 3 to Go!

It’s hard to believe there are only three more races until the end of the season. We haven’t won a race yet, but we have made it into the top 10 in points which is a big accomplishment for our team. We are now ninth in points, and I have to say I am surprised. We haven’t had the season I had hoped we’d have, because it’s been a very competitive series once again. I’m definitely disappointed in our results because I know we are better than that, we just haven’t had the finishes that we are capable of.

Voices from the Heartland: Sunoco Misses Yet Another Advertising Bonanza

I do remember all the whining by Sunoco, The Official Fuel Supplier of NASCAR, that the Shell emblem on Kevin Harvick’s car was way too big, and that it was unfair because, because, oh yes, because the Shell car won and the emblem was too big. You see, Sunoco, The Official Fuel Supplier of NASCAR, had paid millions of dollars to be The Official Fuel Supplier of NASCAR, and they felt it just wasn’t right that the car sponsored by a competitor twice as big as themselves won the Daytona 500, or some such drivel.

NASCAR Stuff We Can’t Make Up

According to an article on Adweek.com, the makers of Meaty Bones dog snacks are actively courting NASCAR dads – a demographic they define as “middle-aged, working-class men outside of urban areas who frequent car races.” Nothing like a little flattery to get consumers to open their wallets, huh? In order to attract this target audience, the company created an online game which proclaims itself “The Greatest Game in the History of Dogs. Ever.” You’re invited to “mark your territory” by hitting moving objects with a stream of water while missing the pop-up cats. Really.

Mirror Driving: Carl Edwards vs. The Media, Junior Flees Media Circus, And Dissecting The Memphis Massacre

Clearly, the last several laps were one of the weirder Atlanta finishes in recent memory. Is there anything NASCAR should have done differently?

Billionaire Bruton Smith Bluffs City Council Into Submission

In a month-long poker game that pitted the City Council of Concord, North Carolina against billionaire Bruton Smith, owner of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the City Council folded their hand last Friday night to what probably was nothing more than a well-executed bluff by Smith. However, the City Council realized that they were in a game that required stakes well above what they could afford to lose – and Smith had plenty of extra chips on the table. In the end, city leaders voted to lift a restriction imposed Oct. 1st, permitting Smith to continue construction of a planned drag strip on racetrack property, a construction project that could cost up to $60 million.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in the Chase: 2007 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Edition

No matter what you think of the ending, once the smoke cleared there was certainly no surprise up front; the Gordon/Johnson juggernaut had tightened its grip on the competition. It was Johnson who fared the better of the two, scoring his series-leading eighth win of the year to narrow the deficit to just nine points behind Jeff Gordon as the series heads to Texas. But could that monopoly on Victory Lane end this weekend, as the Nextel Cup boys head to a track where neither Jimmie Johnson or Gordon have won? Cinderella Clint Bowyer is hoping for just that, perhaps the only other driver within striking distance as the championship prepares to enter its final set of turns.

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