NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Mike Lovecchio

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Edition

While drivers like Marcos Ambrose and Ron Fellows appeared to have cars capable of top-10 finishes, it was the usual frontrunners near the top of the leaderboard by the time the day was over -- including race winner Kyle Busch. Who else stayed "HOT" this week? And what teams near the bottom of the Top 35 appeared to have a shot this weekend at a road course, but still struggled? Check out this week's edition of Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup to find out.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 LifeLock 400 at Michigan Edition

The long-awaited first Hendrick-Earnhardt victory finally came this week at Michigan, but it didn't come without controversy. Winning on fuel mileage, the No. 88 team worked some pit strategy to make it to Victory Lane; however, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers have criticized Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR for allowing the eventual winner to pass the pace car under caution. And Earnhardt wasn't the only one who enjoyed success at the 2-mile oval; the Red Bull and Roush Fenway teams also had strong runs. Will this hot topic land all three teams on the HOT list this week? Check out this week's edition of Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup for the answer.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Best Buy 400 at Dover Edition

The notorious “Monster Mile” jumped out and attacked the competition Sunday when Elliott Sadler came down on the No. 38 of David Gilliland on lap 18, triggering a massive pileup that ended the days for a number of Chase contenders before they could even get into a rhythm. Aside from Sadler’s blunder, though, it was Kyle Busch who once again stole the headlines by claiming his fourth win of the season. Busch is undoubtedly the hottest driver in the series right now; but how does his start stack up against Jimmie Johnson’s impressive start to 2007? Check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup to find out.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Edition

In the past, the extra 100 miles that make the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR’s longest event has proved to add an extra dimension to an already grueling race. This year was no different, as it wasn't how you started but how you finished that made the difference. It seemed that every driver who ran up front ran into problems -- and in the end, Kasey Kahne survived for the victory only after Tony Stewart succumbed to tire problems three laps from the finish. Kahne moves into the top 12 in points this week with his first win in 52 starts, and appears to be picking up momentum after winning the All-Star Race last week. But will his breakthrough win be enough to put him in this week’s “HOT” list? Check out the latest edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup below to find out.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 All-Star Race at Charlotte Edition

With $1 million on the line Saturday night, drivers and fans got a glimpse of what just may happen when points are up for grabs at the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend. While the annual Sprint All-Star event, traditionally run on the weekend prior to Memorial Day, may be an altogether different animal - it's a 100-lap sprint compared to the longest race on the NASCAR schedule - many teams still view the event as an extended test session. Because of that, don’t be surprised if some of the stronger cars last week will be up front once again, putting what they learned to good use late Sunday night.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Edition

Despite a different track surface, it was the same ol' Darlington Saturday night, with the Lady in Black’s walls jumping out and biting drivers on several occasions... including race winner Kyle Busch. But while there were some adjustments made to the track, adjustments made to this week’s “HOT” list are minimal. Busch continues to dominate. while Junior Nation continues to enjoy the success of the No. 88 team with another top five. Still, two new drivers are featured in this week’s “WARM” and “COLD” lists heading into All-Star weekend. To see who those teams are, check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond Edition

Under the lights on a wild Saturday night at Richmond, sparks flew and fans booed. A controversial accident between Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. made headlines, but it was Clint Bowyer who left the track with a victory. It was Bowyer's second career win, but that was small consolation for Junior, whose winless streak was extended for another week after his spin. All four contenders at the short track made this week's "HOT" list; but who could go for a good run at Darlington?

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: 2008 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Edition

Anything can – and as we saw Sunday – will happen at Talladega. The new car provided exciting racing for the fans and good runs for some drivers, but provided plenty of headaches for others. Wheelmen like Juan Pablo Montoya and Travis Kvapil had surprisingly strong finishes, while Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards’s days ended early with tire problems, more evidence that the superspeedway is more of a crapshoot than anything else. With that in mind, come in and see who survived to stay on this week’s HOT list, as well as who could really go for a good run at Richmond this weekend.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: After the 2008 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix

Talladega Superspeedway is one of the more intimidating tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule. It requires skill; it requires patience; and most often, it requires a certain amount of luck. For a few of the drivers, the 2.66-mile track is a welcomed site; but for most, Talladega is a dreaded wild card event where anything can and will happen. But despite the track's unpredictable nature, some drivers have achieved consistent success down in Alabama. As the Who's Hot/Who's Not column returns from an off-week, we take a look at not only the hottest and coldest drivers in the series this year, but how the top 15 in driver points have fared at Talladega throughout their careers.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

It's been awhile since there's been a scary accident in any of NASCAR's three premier series; so, needless to say, Michael McDowell's qualifying crash raised a few eyebrows when it comes to safety in the sport. It's a wreck he could have easily not walked away from; but luckily, the improvements have left more than a few people impressed with the sport's new car, along with McDowell both fully intact and counting his blessings. This week, the "HOTTEST" people on this list are the individuals who developed the particular safety equipment that just may have saved McDowell's life; none of us can thank you enough.

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