Race Weekend Central

Fanning the Flames: The Crew Chief Carousel & Other Assorted Oddities

I hear all the time that many of the races on the Cup circuit need to be shorter. Well, you get your wish this weekend. The Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 is actually only 312 laps, and on a 1-mile track, that makes for a pretty tidy show. Why is “500” listed in the race’s …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Dickies 500 at Texas

A crash on lap 3, combined with 111 points lost to his closest competition at Texas, didn’t faze any of our voters in this week’s poll. Not only did Jimmie Johnson maintain his first-place position in unanimous fashion, he maintains a rather healthy points lead in our Power Rankings over second place with just two …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega

The wild card of the Chase might not have taken Jimmie Johnson out of the points lead, but it certainly mixed up the standings in this week’s Power Rankings. With half our list in shambles after two terrible wrecks decimated the field, our pollsters were left scratching their heads and putting the pieces together the …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville

Although he didn’t win on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson continued his death grip on the top spot in the Power Rankings, with his second-place finish at Martinsville more than enough to secure all 10 of the first-place votes this week. With four races left, the No. 48 needs to only avoid the Talladega wreck to coast …

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Fanning the Flames: Shuffling Chase Venues Won’t Slow Jimmie Johnson Down

I’ve corresponded with a number of people over the last couple of weeks through emails, conversations, interviews, etc., that bring up the topic of changing the Chase venues in order to level the playing field. Unfortunately, no one has addressed this issue in relation to this column (ironic, I know), so I thought I’d use …

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Mirror Driving: Dale Jr.’s Next Step, Park’s NASCAR Comeback & Jimmie’s Chase to Lose?

Jimmie Johnson left Charlotte with a 90-point lead, the largest margin in history five races into the Chase. Does Johnson have the title in the bag at halfway, or is there still someone with something for the three-time champ?

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 NASCA Banking 500 at Charlotte

NASCAR came home for the only night race of the playoffs Saturday, overseeing a coronation of the Lowe’s Motor Speedway “King” for the first time in four years. Dominating for a second straight week in the Chase, Jimmie Johnson once again took the checkered flag at the track with his sponsor’s name to solidify his …

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Fanning the Flames: An Odd Point of View, the Hall of Fame & More (or Less) Tolerance

Q: Matt, are you kidding??? Now NASCAR’s own media is defending “the show” that it puts on when it creates drama? [Jeff] Gluck (NASCAR SceneDaily … figures) is telling fans that NASCAR’s phantom cautions for debris is good for the sport?! What kind of “journalist” defends a sport’s leadership that manipulates the game itself? Tell me his thoughts aren’t in line with the majority of the folks who cover this sport and bring it to us daily!

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Pepsi 500 at Fontana

After scoring another victory at his home track, Jimmie Johnson put a major stranglehold on the top spot in the poll following Chase race number four at California. Behind him, the keyword appears to be “stability” as a Sunday snoozer led to minimal movement amongst our Power Rankings. But while our experts have labeled Johnson …

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