NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Bowles-Eye View: A Tale of 2 Seasons – NASCAR Teams Struggling to Gauge Where They Stand

In a world that thrives on instant analysis, it’s so easy to fall into the two-race trap of choosing who’s a true Chase contender. Ryan Newman? DNFs mean forget it. Denny Hamlin? Looking shaky at best. Kevin Harvick? Leading the points and in perfect position to challenge Jimmie Johnson… right? But in a year with …

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Bowles-Eye View: The $225,000 Bribe… Just to Make a NASCAR Race

As water came pouring down on a freezing Friday at Daytona, Paul Menard was faced with a cold reality all his own. 49th in the qualifying draw, a rainout would mean an automatic DNQ for him under the NASCAR rulebook, shattering dreams of a title in the sport’s second-tier series before they even got off …

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Bowles-Eye View: NASCAR Lessons Learned From Harry Davis

On Sunday, 19-year-old Marc Davis finished third in the Freestate 500 in South Africa. That put him on the podium behind John Mickel and Toni McCray, standing proudly amongst the top three in a race dedicated to his late father. Monday, he’ll fly back to bury him. —- The first time Harry Davis contacted me …

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Bowles-Eye View: A Quick List of NASCAR Changes for 2010

Back in the ’90s, Sheryl Crow used to have this catchy song when I was a teenager called “A Change Would Do You Good.” Apparently, someone up in the NASCAR tower’s been listening. Coming off a Media Tour where the focus was on righting some wrongs and fixing every conceivable problem in sight, the 2010 …

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Bowles-Eye View: Want To Stop Hendrick? Here’s 5 Ways To Do It

In his 25th year in Sprint Cup, Rick Hendrick hasn’t just reached the peak of his sport… he’s carving a new mountain upon which all others must climb. With just one week left in 2009, his driver Jimmie Johnson stands poised to win a fourth straight title, with team cars Mark Martin second and Jeff …

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Bowles-Eye View: Who’s the Best NASCAR Free Agent Left?

With the 2009 Silly Season circus coming to a close, there’s more drivers left than rides to fill in the Cup Series these days. Once Jamie McMurray signs with the No. 1 of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (expected to happen this week), the only car available with primary sponsorship money secured, in fact, is the No. …

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Bowles-Eye View: Fuel-Mileage Finishes Adding Fuel to Fans’ Fire?

While younger brother Kyle flashed some speed, it was older brother Kurt who showed his smarts Sunday at Texas. Leading 232 of the first 332 laps, the younger brother was in position to pull off the first ever “triple sweep” – winning Truck, Nationwide and Cup shows at the same track in the same weekend …

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Bowles-Eye View: Chase Overload Cuts NASCAR Storylines to Pieces

The thought hung over Denny Hamlin like the Balloon Boy story over America before the hoax made us all want the darned thing to fly away on its own. Fresh off his third career victory – setting a new career high – at one of his two hometown tracks, Hamlin’s post-race celebration Sunday should have …

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Bowles-Eye View: 5 Things to Look for in the Final 5 Races of 2009

As an editor, you’ve got to have all sorts of column ideas in your back pocket in case someone calls out sick. And sure enough, Danny Peters (who usually fills this space on Tuesdays) got a little case of the flu before he could scribble down his thoughts by deadline. So that leaves me with …

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Bowles-Eye View: Help Wanted! NASCAR’s Charlotte Buzz Goes Silent

Every sport has a certain time where there’s so much news it practically grows on trees. It’s a journalist’s favorite time of year; one where working overtime is a joy and not a curse, in the midst of sudden scoops and a cell phone that never stops ringing. The winds of change, good or bad, bring debate and discussion that keep the sport as lively off the track as it can be entertaining on it.

That’s how the Fall weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway usually is for NASCAR. With race shops just a stone’s throw away, the hometown race proves the perfect place to finalize plans, announce new teams, and generate overall buzz for next year. At the halfway point in the Chase, it’s the calm before the championship storm, a “timeout” so to speak where everyone has the chance to breathe long enough to focus on 2010 — especially now, when the chilly air gets us all thinking of the warmth and beauty of Daytona just around the corner. Add in Wednesday’s landmark announcement of the first five Hall of Fame nominees, and this particular week began the way these weeks often should, a bonus boost with a chance to carry some serious momentum through Saturday night.

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