Home / Who’s Hot / Who’s Not (page 40)

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Nationwide and Trucks: Easter Edition

While Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck Series teams were home this Easter weekend spending quality time with family and catching up on March Madness, the Nationwide Series spent Saturday afternoon roaring around Nashville Superspeedway, the series' sixth stop this season. While this column is normally reserved for discussing the trends of the hottest and coldest teams in Sprint Cup, on this off week we'll take a quick look at what's going on in the other series. Scott Wimmer took advantage of a Kyle Busch spin this weekend to pick up his first win since July of 2003, and the series' first non-Sprint Cup winner since Jason Leffler in July of last year. Wimmer is hot, averaging a 10.3 finish in his three starts this season, but come in and see who else is hot in this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not, as we take a look at which non-Buschwackers, or Nationwhackers or Insurance Adjusters, or whatever they're called now, in NASCAR's other two premier series.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol Edition

As Jeff Burton took the white flag for what would soon be the 40-year-old driver's first victory since April of last year, the UPS No. 44 car crawled along the apron as the eventual winner passed. It was *Dale Jarrett's* final lap in a Sprint Cup points race, and just as the 1999 champion had done since his first start in 1984, the 51-year-old raced with respect and gave the leaders room. Few drivers are as respected among the NASCAR garage as Jarrett -- but ironically, Sunday's Food City 500 winner was among that elite group, too. As fate would have it, the same driver who raced clean and accepted a second place finish to Kyle Busch at Bristol one year ago had the race fall into his lap when leader *Denny Hamlin* fell off the pace with a fuel pickup problem a lap and a half from the finish. Now armed with 20 career wins, Burton has emerged as one of the hottest drivers on the circuit, off to the same solid start that propelled him to a spot in the Chase last year.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Nextel Cup: 2008 UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Edition

In what was a much smoother race weekend than the on again / off again rain debacle last weekend in California, the story in Vegas wound up with a similar ending. As the checkered flag flew, it was Carl Edwards once again winding up in Victory Lane, cementing his status as the hottest driver in the Cup series right out of the box. But who else left Vegas with a boatload of cash and momentum? And on the flip side, who's currently in gambling purgatory -- needing good runs in the next two weeks to steer clear of the dreaded Top 35 bubble position in car owner points? To see the latest trends in Sprint Cup, as well as what to expect next Sunday in Atlanta, check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not. *HOT* *Carl Edwards:* Owww! Sorry, had to grab the extinguisher because Edwards' season is giving me 3rd-degree burns … and we're 1,000 miles away from him right now. Two wins in his last two starts have Cousin Carl leading the standings for the first time in his Cup career; with a 21-point lead over Kyle Busch, his No. 99 team has revitalized Roush Fenway Racing while giving hope that the Blue Oval crowd ain't dead yet. Don't expect this bunch to keel over anytime soon on the track, either; Edwards captured his first career Cup win at Atlanta three years ago, and has six Top 10 finishes in seven career starts at the track.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Nextel Cup: 2008 Auto Club 500 at Fontana Edition

The warm, sunny, and beautiful weather conditions commonly associated with California were replaced this weekend by rain, rain and well…more rain. After little practice time and a washed out qualifying session, NASCAR made a number of futile attempts to run the Cup race on Sunday before finally - at 2 a.m. EST - postponing the race. The schedule may have been thrown out of whack, but when the green flag finally flew again Monday afternoon it was typical California racing - boring - and the usual cast of characters up front. With the win, *Carl Edwards* recorded Roush Fenway's fourth consecutive Spring race win at the 2-mile oval, while Jimmie Johnson followed up his win in the Fall race last year with a second place run in his return to his home track. It was a long week for drivers, teams, and fans alike; but for some in particular, the weekend couldn't have been any longer. At the same time, other drivers followed up great runs at Daytona with solid efforts again this week, becoming some of the select few happy to be in Ontario in the first place. To see who was basking in the California sun Monday afternoon and who simply couldn't wait to get home, check out this week's edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not in Sprint Cup.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: 2008 Daytona 500 Edition

For three months the anticipation built up in preparation for the 50th running of the Daytona 500, all the way up until the green flag flew over 43 of the world's best drivers to kick off the 2008 season Sunday afternoon. The expected Hendrick Motorsports dominance was overshadowed by the success of Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota with *Tony Stewart*, *Kyle Busch* and *Denny Hamlin* each taking turns at the front of the field while only one Hendrick car finished in the Top 25. As the closing laps came winding down, it was two drivers who hadn't necessarily been contenders for the majority of the race who teamed up for a 1-2 finish. The Penske cars of *Kurt Busch* and *Ryan Newman* are obviously two of the hottest cars coming out of Daytona, but who else is satisfied with their performance in the Great American Race? Who is already behind the 8-ball after just one race? Come in and find out in this week's edition of Who's/ Who's Not in Sprint Cup.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: 2008 Preview Edition

The last time we were in Florida for a race, *Jimmie Johnson* and the No. 48 team were basking in a sea of confetti after winning their second consecutive Sprint Cup title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A lot has changed since that historic day in November; there's been a powerful addition to the Toyota camp, and the sport's most popular driver debuted with Johnson's organization in convincing fashion during Saturday's Budweiser Shootout. Those are just two of a number of storylines and questions heading into 2008 -- some will have to wait to be answered, while some may be answered here. For those of you who are new to this column, well ... so am I. Moving over from the Bubble Breakdown, I'll be replacing Cami Starr, who has done a wonderful job keeping you, the racing fan, updated on the trends of what's happening in NASCAR's premiere series over the past few years. With that said, here's the first edition of Who's Hot / Who's Not for 2008. Use it for fantasy purposes, use it for an unbiased view of where your favorite driver ranks (not that you'd be biased in the first place, right?), or simply read it to kill some time. Either way, I'm glad to have you on board for the upcoming season.

Read More »

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in the Chase: 2007 Checker Auto Parts 500k at Phoenix Edition

As the song by Herman's Hermits says, "second verse, same as the first." Well, in this case, the third and fourth verse are the same, too. Jimmie Johnson continued to make the Chase a bore by scoring his fourth straight win in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500K, extending his lead to 86 over Jeff Gordon with just one race remaining on the schedule. But even with this second championship seemingly in hand, Johnson still has to survive at Homestead before he gets his hands on the big check. And while all eyes will firmly be on Johnson and Gordon, there are other drivers in the Chase peaking late in the season who are looking to end the year with a win. So which drivers are actually looking forward to racing 400 miles on Sunday and which ones simply see it as 267 laps to run before taking off for vacation? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not in the Chase to find out.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: Outside The Chase after the 2007 Checker Auto Parts 500k at Phoenix

With just two races left on the Nextel Cup slate, the open roads of the great Southwest appeared the perfect place for a change of pace. After all, the subset of three dozen drivers outside the Chase had won just once during the playoffs, and you'd like to think the odds were in their favor heading to a one-mile short track - especially while toting the unpredictable Car Of Tomorrow in their wake. However, that chance at redemption quickly became a desert mirage. While admirable performances were put in by a handful of teams, Sunday's final results leaned heavily in favor of the playoff participants - again. For the second straight week, eight of the Top 10 finishers were also among the Top 12 in Nextel Cup points, making it difficult to argue that any of the Chasers didn't deserve to be ranked amongst NASCAR's elite. But what about those drivers left behind? Now, just one race remains for any of them to salvage seasons that clearly didn't turn out the way they intended. With time running out, who can defy the odds, putting together their best impression of a Happy Ending? And which teams have put themselves in a hole too deep to dig out of … not just for this year, but the beginning of the next? Read on to find out Who's Hot and Who's Not … outside the Chase for the Championship...

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: Outside The Chase after the 2007 Dickies 500 at Texas

The Lone Star State proved a lonely place for drivers out of the playoffs Sunday, as nine Chase drivers finished the race in the Top 11. One by one, some of the best hopes to sneak an upset win at Texas crashed themselves out of contention, showing instead why this wasn't the year they proved capable of challenging for that championship trophy. But amidst the smoke of an ugly day for this large group of underdogs, some longtime veterans kept up steady streaks that left them leaving with a Texas-sized smile. Who were they, and what man ahead of them is charging hard to stake his claim on the 13th spot in the standings? Find out below in this week's edition of Who's Hot … and Who's Not, non-Chase style.

Read More »

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In The Chase: 2007 Dickies 500 at Texas Edition

They say everything is bigger and better in Texas, and that adage certainly proved true for Jimmie Johnson, as he continued his quest for back-to-back Nextel Cup Championships. Once again, Johnson and the No. 48 team found themselves at the front of the field when it came down to money time, as he ran down Matt Kenseth in the closing laps to score his ninth win of the season and third in a row. Not even his teammate / co-owner / mentor Jeff Gordon can seem to tame the No. 48 juggernaut; with just two races remaining on the schedule, he's fallen behind his streaky teammate. But at least the two superstars have pulled away from the crowd; barring some freakish incident, the battle for the title is all but officially down to the two cars from the Hendrick stable. Johnson, with his new Stetson cowboy hat in hand, now heads to Phoenix trying to increase his 30-point lead over Gordon. Behind them, there are other Chase drivers fighting to finish as high as possible, all of them trying hard not to end the season quietly. So, who left Texas still kicking, and which drivers are already out to pasture? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not in the Chase to find out...

Read More »