NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Becca Gladden

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Sharpie 500 at Bristol

1. B-O-R-I-N-G - Drivers were effusive in their praise of Bristol's new surface and banking, and even the Car of Tomorrow and Goodyear's hard tire seemed to get a pass (no pun intended). But if NASCAR wants to know why TV ratings are so low, Saturday night's race provided the answer. A hot, humid summer night race at Bristol used to exemplify the track's slogan, "Racing the way it oughta be." But even the broadcasters' repeated promises that "it's gonna get interesting soon" couldn't pump any excitement into this total snoozer.

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10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Brickyard 400

1. Stewart Storylines - As expected, Tony Stewart has hit his midsummer stride, winning two straight Cup races and his second Brickyard 400. Stewart-related questions: Will Tony be punished for saying "bullsh*t" in his post-race interview? Just what bullsh*t was he referring to that he thinks his fans have to put up with? Will he continue the trend of six of the past nine Brickyard winners taking the title? And how much will an autographed sweat-soaked Stewart towel go for at auction to benefit his charity foundation?

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What’s the Call: Did Aric Almirola Make The Right Career Choice?

Today's Question: Earlier this week, it was announced that Aric Almirola will be headed to Ginn Racing to share a Cup ride with Mark Martin for the rest of 2007 and beyond. Was this the right move for Almiola's future, or was he wrong to slam the door on an opportunity with one of the top teams in Cup, Joe Gibbs Racing, a team he drove for in the Busch Series up until this surprising turn of events?

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10 Points to Ponder After the 2007 USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland

1. They call it "cookie cutter" for a reason - Sorry guys, but that just wasn't a very exciting race. Tony Stewart got out front with a fuel-only pit stop and was never challenged in the closing laps after holding off a single pass attempt by Matt Kenseth. There were several long green-flag runs and not a lot of lead changes, unless you count the ones achieved through pit cycles, and most of the attrition was due to single-car incidents. The only good news to report: the race didn't last that long.

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10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Pepsi 400 at Daytona

1. Cup Confusion - So, it's official. The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series becomes the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting in 2008 - the third different series sponsor in five years, which makes things pretty confusing! Case in point - when Tony Stewart won the title in 2002, we said he won the Winston Cup. In 2005, we called it the Nextel Cup. If Stewart wins the title next year, it will be the Sprint Cup. Would it make too much sense to simply give the trophy a permanent name, like the NASCAR Cup, instead of renaming it every time the sponsor changes? Or maybe in honor of Bill France Jr., it could be named the France Cup by _____ (insert sponsor here).

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Beyond the Cockpit: Bobby Labonte at Phoenix

NASCAR fans from Arizona and beyond converged on Phoenix International Raceway last week for a chance to purchase tickets to April's Subway Fresh Fit 500 from the track's newest sales interns -- Nextel Cup stars Carl Edwards and Bobby Labonte. Along with working the ticket window, the drivers signed autographs and chatted congenially with the enthusiastic crowd. Frontstretch Senior Staff Writer Becca Gladden was on hand for the event and spoke with both drivers about a variety of topics.

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Beyond The Cockpit: Carl Edwards at Phoenix

NASCAR fans from Arizona and beyond converged on Phoenix International Raceway last week for a chance to purchase tickets to April's Subway Fresh Fit 500 from the track's newest sales interns -- Nextel Cup stars Carl Edwards and Bobby Labonte. Along with working the ticket window, the drivers signed autographs and chatted congenially with the enthusiastic crowd. Frontstretch Senior Staff Writer Becca Gladden was on hand for the event and spoke with both drivers about a variety of topics.

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Becca’s Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2007 Auto Club 500 at Fontana

Congratulations to Brian Vickers and Team Red Bull for a top-10 finish in their first points race of the year. Vickers spent the latter part of 2006 under rancorous conditions at Hendrick Motorsports, and his new 2007 team was unable to qualify for the Daytona 500 last week.

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Becca’s Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2007 Daytona 500

Congratulations to rookie David Ragan, who finished fifth from a 35th-place starting spot in Mark Martin's old No. 6 ride and just his third Cup start ever. Ragan is under a lot of pressure to perform, and he did so admirably today. After the race, David vowed to run well in California and prove that today's finish was "not a fluke."

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Who Wins, Who Gets Fired & Who’s The Best Rookie? Frontstretch 2007 Staff Predictions

Now that another new season is officially upon us, the time is here for our Frontstretch staff to look like geniuses... or, more likely, make fools of ourselves with our season picks for who takes this year's title.

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