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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2006 Subway 500 at Martinsville Edition

This weekend’s race at Martinsville kicks off the second half of NASCAR’s playoffs, the Chase for the Championship. The first five races have been kind to some of us, while others are struggling to make up lost ground from early miscues. Of course, always keep in mind that everything doesn’t always go as planned… it’s why they race every weekend. With that in mind, who should you use on your fantasy team to kick off the final leg of the Chase?

Mirror Driving: NASCAR Officiating Gone Bad?

After a debacle that included a safety truck stuck in the middle of the track as the green flag waved and an officiating call that forced a red flag to sort out, what, if anything, should be done to improve NASCAR officiating?

Thompson in Turn 5: Misguided Loyalties

I am becoming increasingly concerned that some otherwise sane adults have become delusional as to what Chevy, Dodge and Ford are in relation to NASCAR. Apparently, there are a fairly significant number of people that have pledged allegiance to these inanimate objects and put loyalty to them ahead of real, live team owners and racecar drivers, especially in the face of an incoming invader otherwise known as the Toyota Camry.

Becca’s Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2006 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

Far be it from me to criticize what anyone says in the pre-race invocation, but it did strike me as curious when this week’s prayer included the words, “We ask the drivers to be models of excellence and virtue.” I guess this harkens back to the old Charles Barkley “I’m not a role model” debate – but do race fans really expect (and pray) that NASCAR drivers will be “models of virtue?”

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Nextel Cup: 2006 Subway 500 at Martinsville Edition

As the smoke cleared from a wacky weekend of racing, Jeff Burton continued to remain the class of the Chase field, with the rest of his challengers now looking to play catchup in the second half. Heading into Martinsville, second through seventh in the standings are separated by just over 100 points, so any little bump or bang this weekend could send the standings into a tailspin.

That’s History: Biggest Fish in the Pond

In 1973, a brash, outspoken rookie named Darrell Waltrip burst onto the NASCAR scene, making an impact with both his brash words (which earned Waltrip the nickname “Jaws”) and his daring on the racetrack. Even as a rookie, Waltrip was vocally confident that he would someday be a NASCAR champion. He was right – he went on to win three titles in his brilliant career. But Waltrip’s career didn’t take off overnight; in fact, he wasn’t the 1973 Rookie of the Year.

Frontstretch Breakdown: 2006 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

After finishing second at Talladega the previous week, Kasey Kahne came out and dominated at Lowe’s, leading 134 laps and surviving a wacky race of attrition and pit strategy to come out on top in the Bank of America 500 and close to within 160 of points leader Jeff Burton. Kahne took the season sweep at the track over Lowe’s legend Jimmie Johnson, who placed second; Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five finishers.