After a bout with Mother Nature forced a bizarre finish at Pocono — the second straight week of strange results for NASCAR — there was plenty of heating up and cooling off throughout the sport’s top levels. So, without further ado let’s get right to the list of Who’s Hot and Who’s Not with just five races left to go in the regular season.
Tire problems provided an interesting twist to this week’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, allowing a number of teams to utilize pit strategy to capture unexpectedly strong finishes. One of those teams, the No. 84 of AJ Allmendinger, came home 10th, giving him his first top 10 and the best two-race stretch of his career. Up front, the suspense was far less dramatic. Jimmie Johnson was the strongest car and took home his second win of the season — becoming just the second man to win a stock car race at Indy from the pole. But behind the No. 48, who else had good runs? And with Chase bids on the line, who fell victim to tire problems out of their control? Check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup to find out how things are shaping up with just six races left until the playoffs.
As teams approach one of the most prestigious races in the Sprint Cup Series and fans and drivers are refreshed following a rare off weekend, it’s a perfect opportunity to recognize some of the streakiest drivers heading into this year’s Brickyard 400. Of course, one man has been in a league of his own all season – but another driver has surprised in mirroring Kyle Busch’s points total over the past nine races. Who is that famous wheelman giving Busch a run for his money? And who’s season is suddenly running on life support after a strong early start? See who are some of the worst drivers in the series as of late, and who has an opportunity to kiss the bricks on Sunday by checking out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.
Tony Stewart had arguably the best car all day — leading a race high 132 laps — but fell to 13th place, while a number of hot streaks came to an end — including Carl Edwards’ string of seven consecutive races with a top-10 finish. But one streak that will continue on to Daytona this weekend is Jeff Burton’s impressive 17-race, top 15 performance. Burton is among those in this week’s “HOT” column; read below to see who else joins him in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup after New Hampshire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.