NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Cool-Down Lap: Busch-Hamlin Teammate Tussle Won’t Derail Either’s Title Hopes

The 2010 Sprint All-Star Challenge, just like every year, is just that – an all-star race. It is NASCAR’s infomercial to its fans: Love NASCAR. Cheer for Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch, even though you don’t like them. Drivers would wreck their blind grandma to win a million bucks, so tempers surely will flare. And …

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The Cool-Down Lap: 9 Lives Casey Mears Runs Respectably in Brian Vickers’s Absence

“Way to fight there, bud.” These were the first words relayed to Casey Mears by crew chief Ryan Pemberton after the checkered flag flew for Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400 Presented by Hershey’s at Dover International Speedway. Mears, filling-in for the suddenly ill Brian Vickers, had an intense battle indeed in the No. 83 car. As …

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The Cool-Down Lap: Time for Tony Stewart & No. 14 Team to Step Up Their Game

One elephant in the Sprint Cup garage these days is not pudgy Tony Stewart himself, but instead the ill performance of his No. 14 race team. The Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet has been little better than scrap metal at the track the past several weeks, struggling to stay on the lead lap, much less score …

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The Cool-Down Lap: RIR & ‘Dega Polar Opposites, But Different Styles Still Equal Great Races

Critics of last week’s angry race car mob at Talladega took issue with the fact that almost every entry had a shot at the lead and the win. They labeled the event as contrived, pro wrestling-like entertainment where restrictor plates, not racing, kept everyone within an arm’s length. Three green-white-checkered finishes and numerous wrecks in …

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The Cool-Down Lap: 88 is the Magic Number in Talladega… & Junior Didn’t Even Win

We didn’t know it, but sunny skies Sunday morning were an omen of things to come. For as the fog and clouds burned off at Talladega Superspeedway, shadows of doubt about the Aaron’s 499 lurked. Would the return of the spoiler to a plate race, bigger holes in the restrictor plates, and NASCAR’s “Have At …

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The Cool-Down Lap: Richard Petty Should Step Away From NASCAR & Protect His Legacy

Richard Petty is the most accomplished NASCAR driver of all-time and one of the most decorated, celebrated legends in all of motorsports history. His 200 career Cup victories and 27 wins in 1967 will never be matched and his seven championships have only been equaled by Dale Earnhardt. Petty’s squeaky clean, fan friendly, Christian persona …

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The Cool-Down Lap: Will Jimmie Johnson’s Main Rival Please Stand Up? ‘Cause I Don’t See One

Four-time defending champ Jimmie Johnson did not win in the desert Saturday night in Phoenix, but the No. 48 seemed poised to do so for much of the race. Johnson hung in the top 10 in the early laps, then dominated the Subway Fresh Fit 600’s middle portion before relinquishing the lead to Kyle Busch. …

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The Cool-Down Lap: NASCAR Retro Paint Schemes We Need to See

In last week’s installment of The Cool-Down Lap, I opined that today’s lack of iconic paint schemes and driver/sponsor combinations are one of the underlying problems that today’s old-school fans have with NASCAR. And with so many good memories synonymous with iconic paint schemes, simply looking them up on YouTube or rolling a diecast back …

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The Cool-Down Lap: New School NASCAR Non-stalgia Eroding Sport’s Fanbase

My tenure as a NASCAR fan has been contained entirely in the “New School Stock Car Era”. The first race I watched from flag-to-flag on TV was the 2001 Daytona 500, where I saw my favorite racer, Dale Earnhardt, crash on the final lap defending the turf for the two cars he owned to win …

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The Cool-Down Lap: A Jimmie Johnson Win We Finally Can Stomach?

You may be sick and tired of hearing some version of this phrase: “Coming to the checkered flag, the No. 48 team will do it again. Jimmie Johnson wins at (insert name of any type of track except a road course here).” But his 50th career victory in Sunday’s Food City 500 was different, despite …

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