Race Weekend Central

The Yellow Stripe: Will Denny Hamlin’s Supposed “Bad Luck” Derail a Promising Career?

“I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it. The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on.” – Samuel Goldwyn There is a tendency in sport, from the highest echelon to the lowest, most grassroots level, to accentuate the short …

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The Yellow Stripe: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day – a Solid Start to Life After Tony Eury for Dale Jr. & Co.

When Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon on July 21, 1969 he uttered the now famous phrase: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Now, it’s a quote that can easily be applied to Dale Earnhardt Jr. following Sunday’s Autism Speaks 400 at the Monster …

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The Yellow Stripe: So Near & Yet So Far – The Story of RCR’s Struggles in 2009

The trouble with great expectations is that when you fall even just a little short, the disappointment is exponentially greater. In the case of Richard Childress Racing, falling short is very much the story of its season so far. And nowhere was that more evident than at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this past weekend where the …

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Grading the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Pack: Part 2

NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race, the Coca-Cola 600, represents a significant milestone in the 2009 season. It’s not quite the halfway point to the Chase (that comes the following week after Dover), but once the checkers fly late Sunday evening we’re exactly one-third of the way through the 36-race schedule. With that in mind, …

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Grading the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Pack: Part 1

NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race, the Coca-Cola 600, represents a significant milestone in the 2009 season. It’s not quite the halfway point to the Chase (that comes the following week after Dover), but once the checkers fly late Sunday evening, we’re exactly one-third of the way through the 36-race schedule. With that in mind, …

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The Yellow Stripe: This Bud’s Not for Kasey – After Killer Start, the Only Way for Kahne to Go is Up

As the curtain closed on another Southern 500 Saturday night, the Lady In Black shined brightly on three of the four cars at Richard Petty Motorsports. Elliott Sadler, AJ Allmendinger and Reed Sorenson persevered to hard-fought top-20 finishes, battling back from miserable starts as they looked to turn their seasons around. As for their teammate Kasey …

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The Yellow Stripe: Race for NASCAR’s Chase Far From Over for Those on the Outside Looking In

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.” So reportedly said Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister of Great Britain from 1874 to 1880. It’s a well-known quote that is attributed to other writers as well, including Mark Twain; but regardless of its exact point of origin, it’s a citation the drivers placed outside …

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The Yellow Stripe: Why I Don’t Love Plate Racing Anymore & Up Next, the Best Month of the Season

Even by Talladega’s “biggest, baddest” standards, that was quite the race weekend in Alabama, wasn’t it, dear readers? Matt Kenseth’s crash in the Nationwide race was violent and scary looking, but it pales into almost insignificance when compared to the carnage the airborne No. 99 Ford Fusion caused on the final lap – not to …

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The Yellow Stripe: 50 is the New 20 for Mark Martin

The NASCAR season is brutally long, and with 36 races across 10 months, you know that from time to time you’re going to see an absolute stinker of a race. But from the moment I clicked on the broadcast on Saturday night, I just had a feeling it was going to be a fantastic evening …

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The Yellow Stripe: Can Tony Stewart Win a Sprint Cup Title in His 1st Year as an Owner?

When Tony Stewart signed on the dotted line in July 2008 to assume 50% ownership in what was the struggling Haas CNC Racing outfit, there were plenty of people lining up to tell the irascible Columbus, Ind. native that he was making a colossal mistake. That it was a great deal financially speaking was the one thing that couldn’t be argued; Stewart didn’t have to pay so much as $1 for a half-stake in the two-car outfit. But all numbers aside, the real issue was that Haas CNC Racing had hardly set the racing world alight in its first six years of operating. Indeed, a driver who’d spent the last decade defined by stock car success had purchased a team seemingly destined to fail.

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