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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2009 Season Review: Jeff Burton

After a year of ho-hum finishes and nothing special, Jeff Burton ended the year with four straight top 10s – including two runner-up finishes in a row to round out the year. The turnaround started when Burton came home fifth at Talladega, thanks to smart driving with a dash of good luck – he raced in the top 10 for the majority of the race before being shuffled back late.

Who’s Going To Win It All? Our 2009 Chase Predictions

The sixth edition of NASCAR’s Chase is upon us, and with it comes the most talented 12-car field we’ve ever seen. Four former champions, 282 career race wins, and eight different teams represented make the 10-race run for the title a wide-open affair with no clear favorite as of yet. Or is there? Our experts …

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Closing NASCAR’s 7th Decade: The Top-12 Drivers – Including the Champ Who’ll Lead Us Into 2010

With 2009 offering one last chance to shape the story of the decade, more outlandish stories beg to be written. Jimmie Johnson will be looking to set a record never thought possible, especially under the Chase playoff format – four consecutive Sprint Cup titles. To do it, he’ll need to fend off perhaps the strongest field of challengers he’s ever had, with Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Kyle Busch the trendy picks to break his streak. In the background looms one of the better rookie battles of the decade in Joey Logano vs. Scott Speed: NASCAR’s handpicked future messiah against the quirkiest newcomer it’s had in years.

2009 Season Preview: Can Anyone Keep Jimmie Johnson From Making History?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: Jimmie Johnson is attempting to do something that’s never been done in the history of NASCAR: four straight championships. What will they need to do to get over the hump – and is it possible?

2009 Season Preview: Will The Big 4 Be Stopped?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: Last season, the 12 drivers that made the Chase were from just four teams (Hendrick, Gibbs, Childress and Roush). What other team has the best chance to break through and stop their Chase dominance, or are the advantages of the Big Four just too much?

2009 Season Preview: Will Mark Martin Be a Contender?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: At 50 years old, Mark Martin is attempting the unthinkable: a return to full-time racing in the Cup Series. With good equipment underneath him (Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets), is he capable of putting together a run at the Chase (and if he gets there, the championship)? Or is it too little, too late for this sport’s version of Dan Marino?

2009 Season Preview: Should NASCAR Fix the Car of Tomorrow?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: After an up-and-down first full season with the Car of Tomorrow, NASCAR implemented no changes to the design over the offseason. Will that result in better racing in 2009 as teams get a handle on the new car, or will no testing lead to necessary midseason changes to increase the quality of racing?

2009 Season Preview: Can Joey Logano Succeed?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: Some observers have already anointed 18-year-old Joey Logano as the next great driver on the NASCAR circuit. But last season, he struggled mightily in a handful of Cup starts for Hall of Fame Racing. Is this kid capable of taking the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota back to the front… or is he the second coming of Casey Atwood?

2009 Season Preview: How Can NASCAR Survive the Economic Crisis?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: With the economic crisis front and center these days, all three of NASCAR’s top-three series are struggling to fill the fields. What should the sanctioning body do to cut costs and get both teams on the track and fans in the stands… or have they already done enough?

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Ford 400 at Homestead

After 36 points-paying events, nine months, and 14,493 miles of racing, the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is finally in the books. When the smoke cleared, it was Jimmie Johnson winning his third consecutive championship, tying Cale Yarborough as the only drivers in history to accomplish that feat. Behind him, Carl Edwards finished second but won the most trophies, with a total of nine checkered flags captured throughout the year. In contrast, Jeff Gordon snapped his streak of at least one win per season at 14, while Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick were some of the other notables who got shut out of victory lane. However, none of those drivers mentioned got left out of our final Power Rankings poll of the season. As you might expect, Johnson was unanimously voted number one on our list; but where did the other drivers mentioned wind up? Read on to see if your wheelman shone in the Florida sun or got sand kicked in his face in the final edition of our 2008 Power Rankings.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

The Desert Southwest held a couple of different surprises for the racers this weekend. Rain and gale force winds threw a lot at the teams; but when all was said and done, it was status quo for the No. 48. Jimmie Johnson led the most laps and won the race handily, all but securing this year’s title heading to Homestead. That dominance was also enough to put almost all of our panel votes behind the point leader, putting him securely in the top spot again this week. But with one week to go, there was quite a bit of movement behind him. Read on to see if your driver was cool and collected or caught in the cactus on rattlesnake hill in this week’s Power Rankings.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Dickies 500 at Texas

History repeated itself for the third time in a row, as the winner at Atlanta in the fall headed to Texas the following week and won again. That victory this week by Carl Edwards stole a couple of first-place votes away from Jimmie Johnson, but didn’t move him out of the top spot just yet. Meanwhile, Jeff Burton’s drive to the championship is done – that is, if you believe the voters in this week’s poll. But just how far did Burton fall? And what Roush Fenway driver made an appearance in our top 12 for the first time? Read on for the answers in this week’s version of the Power Rankings.

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