Race Weekend Central

Bowles-Eye View: Gibbs Asserting Itself in Yearlong Hendrick Battle

Last April at Martinsville Raceway, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were busy engaging in a spirited battle to the checkered flag. Johnson came out on top, but the ending didn’t matter as much as the message; the second win for Hendrick Motorsports in as many Car of Tomorrow events proved to be the opening statement …

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Bowles-Eye View: NCAA’s Cinderellas Reminder of NASCAR’s Fragile Glass Slipper

More than just the Easter Bunny occupied the NASCAR fans’ attention this weekend. Coinciding with the break in the Cup schedule was the beginning of the fastest-growing tournament-style sporting event to hit America each year; and as a result, race fan’s minds were busy being filled with basketballs, not Goodyears, this holiday season. With the …

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Bowles-Eye View: Jeff Burton’s Win Combined With Dale Jarrett’s Departure Leaves Him With More Than Just the Trophy

As the sun set over Bristol Sunday, Dale Jarrett took off his driver’s helmet for the final time. The dimming sunlight was a fitting backdrop for a career coming to a halt; for at 51, one of the most respected drivers the NASCAR garage has ever had was ready to pass the torch of elder …

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Bowles-Eye View: Toyota & Kyle Busch the Unconventional Match Made in Heaven

Kyle Busch needed a home. Toyota needed a future. Together, they’ve morphed into an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Just moments after Busch scored the first victory for the manufacturer in Sprint Cup history – putting them over the hump in just their 40th start – even those closest to him were still digesting …

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Bowles-Eye View: AJ Allmendinger Announcement a Bit of a Shock; Now, the Pressure’s On

NASCAR’s Silly Season seems to start earlier every year, but I never remember it gearing up this quickly. The announcement AJ Allmendinger will be temporarily replaced in the No. 84 is the second such driver change in three weeks in Sprint Cup – Jacques Villeneuve was ousted from the No. 27 mere hours after missing …

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Bowles-Eye View: Open Foot, Insert Mouth – Ford Teams Coming Around After All

As the sun went down on a gorgeous, windy afternoon in Las Vegas, Carl Edwards did a backflip to the delight of the crowd. With his second straight victory in as many races – a win that will stand despite failing post-race inspection – he’s made his case for Ford’s resurgent operation. And with that, …

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Bowles-Eye View: California’s Weekend Joke Puts NASCAR Passion to the Test – Did Yours Take a Hit, Too?

Sunday night marked just the second official weekend of the NASCAR season. In a perfect world, I would have spent it smiling in Ontario, Calif., celebrating the sport’s continued momentum off the heels of a Daytona 500 that exceeded expectations. Instead, my night became so incredibly frustrating, so mentally frying I was virtually jumping through …

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Bowles-Eye View: Tony Stewart’s Daytona Near Misses Inching Him Ever Closer to Earnhardt

As Tony Stewart sulked Sunday at Daytona – wondering when and how his latest opportunity slipped away – I could only help but think of his connection to a legend. That connection, to me, is more palpable than ever now. Perhaps it was because of the historical nature of the day; that as the notes …

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Bowles-Eye View: Earnhardt Jr.’s Win Stress Relief? For Now… But the Pressure’s Still On

For most NASCAR aficionados, the 83 days between the last race at Homestead and the green flag for the Bud Shootout seem like nothing less than an eternity. But in the case of one man more than anyone else, 2008 couldn’t come soon enough – if for no other reason than to take the prognosticators …

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Bowles-Eye View: If France Wants NASCAR “Back to Basics,” Getting There Starts With Daytona Dreams

It’s been nearly two weeks since Brian France spoke the words that made everyone covering NASCAR do a double take. “We’re going to minimize change the best we can,” he said of the upcoming season ahead. “Change is good to a certain point – but we’ve done all the changing we think the sport can …

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