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?
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.
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.
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.
With back-to-back top-10 finishes, Hamlin claims a spot on this week’s HOT list alongside JGR teammate Tony Stewart; but who else is deserving of the recognition? On the flip side, Michael McDowell had an impressive first two-thirds of the race, but received some criticism after the event for racing the leaders too hard in the closing laps. Where does the rookie fall after his debut start? Was he wrong or right? Check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup to find out.
While Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck 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; and considering who’s raced most recently, Nationwide plays a prominent role in the column to come. Come in and see who else is sharing that fire in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not. At this point, 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.
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. To see who is left scrounging around for eggs this Easter weekend — as well as which drivers are best positioned to compete with the streaky Burton — check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.
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, with Carl Edwards 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.
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.
As the closing laps of the Daytona 500 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 eight-ball after just one race? Come in and find out in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.