NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2009 Season Preview: Can Anyone Keep Jimmie Johnson From Making History?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: Jimmie Johnson is attempting to do something that’s never been done in the history of NASCAR: four straight championships. What will they need to do to get over the hump – and is it possible?

2009 Season Preview: Will The Big 4 Be Stopped?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: Last season, the 12 drivers that made the Chase were from just four teams (Hendrick, Gibbs, Childress and Roush). What other team has the best chance to break through and stop their Chase dominance, or are the advantages of the Big Four just too much?

2009 Season Preview: Will Mark Martin Be a Contender?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: At 50 years old, Mark Martin is attempting the unthinkable: a return to full-time racing in the Cup Series. With good equipment underneath him (Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets), is he capable of putting together a run at the Chase (and if he gets there, the championship)? Or is it too little, too late for this sport’s version of Dan Marino?

Mirror Driving: Ownership Smoke & Mirrors, Smoke’s Fiery New Team & Logano’s No Smoke… Yet

NASCAR has claimed 15 new owners applied for licenses in the month of January. Is this a bunch of hot air, or are we going to see a higher-than-expected car count at the Daytona 500… and beyond? More importantly, can these small-time owners stand a chance against the four-car behemoths of Roush, Hendrick, etc.?

2009 Season Preview: Should NASCAR Fix the Car of Tomorrow?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: After an up-and-down first full season with the Car of Tomorrow, NASCAR implemented no changes to the design over the offseason. Will that result in better racing in 2009 as teams get a handle on the new car, or will no testing lead to necessary midseason changes to increase the quality of racing?

2009 Season Preview: Can Joey Logano Succeed?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: Some observers have already anointed 18-year-old Joey Logano as the next great driver on the NASCAR circuit. But last season, he struggled mightily in a handful of Cup starts for Hall of Fame Racing. Is this kid capable of taking the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota back to the front… or is he the second coming of Casey Atwood?

2009 Season Preview: How Can NASCAR Survive the Economic Crisis?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: With the economic crisis front and center these days, all three of NASCAR’s top-three series are struggling to fill the fields. What should the sanctioning body do to cut costs and get both teams on the track and fans in the stands… or have they already done enough?

2008 Driver Review: David Reutimann

David Reutimann knew coming into 2008 that he was going to have to adjust to higher expectations after Bristol in March, as he would be replacing veteran Jarrett behind the wheel of the big-money sponsor UPS Toyota. At least Michael Waltrip Racing made the transition easier on the sophomore driver by allowing crew chief Ryan Pemberton and Co. to make the move to the No. 44 with Reutimann – but to start the season, they’d all be working on the No. 00. Just qualifying for the first five races of the season in that car was an improvement over 2007 for Reutimann, where he failed to qualify for two of the first five races, crashed out of two more and finished 40th in the other. These early season runs did their job and set that car up well, giving rookie Michael McDowell a buffer to keep the No. 00 in the Top 35 well into the season.

Mirror Driving: Sadler’s Last Stand, Diversity’s Shocking Surprise & NASCAR Free Agents Losing Hope

Elliott Sadler was released from Gillett Evernham Motorsports in favor of AJ Allmendinger, and promptly filed suit for breach of contract. Does Sadler have a leg to stand on, and what can he hope to gain – or stand to lose – from the suit?

2008 Driver Review: Paul Menard

Paul Menard’s sophomore season provided some slight improvement. After the struggles that marked the early part of his rookie campaign, 2008 brought continued steadiness for him that marked his second half of 2007. Increasing his number of top-20 finishes from six to eight, Menard maintained the same low number of DNFs (two) and continued to race clean.

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