Race Weekend Central

Eleven NASCAR Wishes For 2011

With the new season just days away, I wanted to take a quick moment in my first column of the year to make some wishes for the forthcoming campaign. Some will probably come true, some definitely won’t; so, before the madness begins anew under the lights at Daytona this Saturday night, and with the benefit of a two-month break from writing here are, in no particular order, my eleven wishes for NASCAR in 2011…

*A Brilliant Daytona 500:*
After pothole-gate, not even a heartstring-tugging victory for the then-beleaguered Jamie McMurray could fully make up for the two-hour patch job delay in the sport’s marquee race. The fiasco was enough to prompt a repave of the grand old two-and-a-half mile high-banked circuit and the result should be racing more akin to her sister superspeedway: Talladega. That will likely ensure 500 miles of turbulent, snarling chaos with the race likely decided in the final corner of the final lap. So how about fingers, toes and any other body parts you care to name, crossed for a 500 for the ages and why not a Michael Waltrip victory while I’m at it? The sport needs a strong start to 2011, no question…

The Yellow Stripe: ABJ (Anyone But Johnson) – Who Would Be the Best 2010 Champion?

On Sunday afternoon, before the race began, I decided to have a little fun. You see, there’s this Jimmie Johnson fan I know who as of late had become increasingly frustrated that the No. 48 hasn’t eviscerated the field in this year’s iteration of the Chase – just as he has the last four years. …

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The Yellow Stripe: 5 NASCAR Men Who Have 3 Races to Prove Themselves

Three, as any true fan of driving fast and turning left a lot, is an auspicious number in the great sport of NASCAR. Made famous by the inimitable, irascible, hardscrabble wheelman, Dale Earnhardt, the black No. 3 Goodwrench Chevy is an iconic car that arguably almost transcends the sport. It is then entirely appropriate that …

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The Yellow Stripe: It’s Not All About the Top 12 – 10 Wild-Card Storylines to Watch in NASCAR’s Chase

For the past 26 weeks, we’ve essentially conducted a form of “Prelude to the Chase,” with drivers jockeying to be in the all-important 12 available spots post-checkers at the second Richmond race. Now, with the field set, you can pretty much guarantee that a quick glance at the Jayski Article/Links page will show 99.9% of stories are all about the hallowed NASCAR playoff format.

The Yellow Stripe: 6 Ways to Change Up NASCAR’s Chase

Before the official release of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule, we were all lulled into a false sense of security that, per NASCAR’s head honcho himself, the upcoming changes would indeed be “impactful.” Now, I’m not sure what dictionary Brian France swallowed, but there can be almost zero doubt that those adjustments, which came …

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The Yellow Stripe: Your 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champ – Assessing the Runners & Riders

In the press conference following Kevin Harvick’s first non-restrictor-plate win since the penultimate race at Phoenix in the 2006 season, the mood of team principal Richard Childress was predictably ebullient. The four-decade plus NASCAR team owner, not known for unnecessary hyperbole, was keen to point out, “Somebody’s got to beat Jimmie [Johnson] this year, and it might as well be RCR.”

The Yellow Stripe: Proposed 2011 NASCAR Schedule More a Band-Aid Than “Impactful”

When NASCAR’s head honcho Brian France announced there would be “impactful” changes to the 2011 Sprint Cup schedule, I stupidly permitted myself a moment to get excited. Following the encouraging introduction of double-file restarts and the multiple green-white-checkered rule, I hoped that, perhaps, the changes made would really make a difference, aiding in the battle …

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The Yellow Stripe: For Elliott Sadler, Jamie McMurray Shows There Can Be a Brighter Tomorrow

Elliott Sadler had the very definition of a hero-to-zero weekend: Winning the inaugural Pocono Truck race on Saturday, then sustaining what he described as “…probably the hardest hit I’ve ever had in a racecar,” in the Cup race on Sunday afternoon. But then, such is the great sport of NASCAR. One day, you’re at the …

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The Yellow Stripe: Is It Worth Making the Chase If You’re Just Making Up the Numbers?

In the next couple of months, we’re going to hear a lot about who’s going to make, and who’s not going to make, the all-hallowed Chase. Each week, drivers will be added, then deleted to and from the equation while, for those on the bubble, the speculation will (in true shout-until-your-lungs-burst WE ARE FOX SPORTS …

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