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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Happy Hour: Will Kasey Kahne Be Much Better at Hendrick? Not if Recent History is a Guide

Whenever a high profile driver changes teams, much is made of how well he will perform at his new digs. Either he will finally realize his long-stifled talent, or there’s going to be some struggles while the new team “gets back on track” with the help of his leadership in the garage. It seemed like …

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Happy Hour: Restrictor Plates Still Restricting Racing

Last season Joe Menzer of NASCAR.com took Chase opponents to task for still bleating about a playoff system that has been in place for several years now, as if somehow a rotten idea becomes better over time. Despite having little real basis for defending NASCAR’s unpopular playoff, he took some unfriendly shots at people who …

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Happy Hour: Sponsors Call the Shots in Today’s NASCAR

In theory, sponsorship of a racecar would be beneficial for all of the entities concerned. In practice, the importance of sponsorship money can get out of control. It has become all consuming in NASCAR, and not to the sport’s benefit. Think of most of the complaints about NASCAR today and most of them can be …

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Happy Hour: Jimmie Johnson is Not Unbeatable

Recently I was talking with my father, whom NASCAR lost as a fan at the end of 2006, or at the beginning of the No. 48 team’s four-year-and-counting championship reign, take your pick. He is aware, only because his son covers the sport, that Jimmie Johnson has won four straight titles. During the discussion of …

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Happy Hour: How Important is the Crew Chief? With Matt Kenseth, Not Very

Recently in a Mirror Driving column there was debate about why Jimmie Johnson doesn’t seem to be getting recognition as one of the all-time greats in the sport. Several answers were offered, from the format in which his championships were earned, to his first class equipment, to his apparent lack of sufficient road rage. And …

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Happy Hour: Sometimes, NASCAR Needs to Be the Bad Guy

Though most sports would be happy to enjoy the ratings that NASCAR does, the powers that be recognize that they’re in a decline, and have been taking some unusual measures to stop the bleeding. Until recently, NASCAR had never consulted the drivers, media, and fans to help them fix waning interest. For any sport to …

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Happy Hour: Where is NASCAR on Hendrick Dominance?

Given NASCAR’s history nearly since its beginnings, and especially recently, it’s curious that NASCAR remains arms folded and passively silent as Hendrick Motorsports opens up can after can of unseasoned whoop-ass on the competition. Last Sunday at Las Vegas it seemed as though they had an even bigger edge than they have had, with the …

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Happy Hour: Jeff Burton May Finally Be Back

If there is a Rodney Dangerfield of NASCAR, it may be Jeff Burton. He doesn’t have the Cups that the glory brothers at Hendrick Motorsports have. He doesn’t have the name recognition of Dale Earnhardt Jr. He doesn’t polarize the media like Tony Stewart. He won’t even be repeatedly pronounced the best driver to never …

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Happy Hour: What’s Left To Be Said About The Daytona 520

There I sat in my capacity as Official Columnist of NASCAR, after two long delays, which at least enabled me to spend some time with visiting in-laws that have zero interest in racing. Before the first green-white-we’ll-figure-it-out-eventually, my three fantasy drivers that day, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon, were all in the top …

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