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Tony Lumbis

Cup Rookies Avoid That Vegas Gambling Temptation… And Survive

*Joey Logano:* *Start: 20th; Finish: 13th* *Summary:* In the land of numbers and luck, it turned out that the number 13 was, in fact, lucky for rookie Joey Logano. After a difficult start to 2009 where the Connecticut native recorded two finishes outside of the top 25 and spun during a Shelby 427 practice session on Saturday, the 18-year-old pulled it together at Vegas to finish a career-best 13th place.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Freshmen Cannot Dodge Wrecks at Daytona

This week’s rookie recap is based on the results of a rain-shortened Daytona 500. What is important to note is the race would’ve finished all 500 miles -- if the green flag didn’t fall at the ridiculous start time of 3:40 PM eastern. When are the networks going to realize that fans want racing, not marathon pre-race shows? *Joey Logano:* *Start: 7th; Finish: 43rd* *Summary:* The No. 20 Home Depot Camry started the Daytona 500 in its usual spot – up front. Joey Logano’s solid fourth place finish in his Gatorade Duel event not only proved that he could run with the leaders on a restrictor plate track, but also gave the rookie a top 10 start in the Great American Race.

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Scott Speed Driver Diary: Snowboarding, Speedweeks and the Organ Donor 200!

Well the off-season is finally over and it’s time to get back to racing. To tell you the truth, I really didn’t do all that much during my down time. Probably the most significant thing I did was go snowboarding. Right after Christmas, we all went to Snow Shoe for a few weeks. Most of the time though, I just went to a ski mountain about an hour and 15 minutes away from my house down here in North Carolina. I actually just started this sport because when I was in Europe racing Formula One, I wasn’t able to do any of that stuff contractually…snowboarding, wakeboarding, skateboarding, skiing…nothing. I was basically in a glass bubble, so I really had a lot of fun trying this stuff out this past winter. Other than that though, I really just hung around my house. I didn’t even leave it for my birthday a few weeks ago. It was just that nice not to be doing anything, considering what my schedule will be over the next nine months.

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Closing NASCAR’s Seventh Decade: The Top 12 Drivers — Including The Champ Who’ll Lead Us Into 2010

2009 closes out the first decade of the 21st Century for NASCAR, and what a long, strange trip it's been. Who would have thought back in 2000 Petty Enterprises would cease to exist nine years later -- along with no Adam Petty to lead NASCAR's first family into the next generation? Or that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. would make only 37 more Cup starts, his death the impetus for a sudden wave of safety innovation no one would have even imagined? And who would have believed that a little-known Busch Series upstart named Jimmie Johnson would be the man rewriting the record books for three full seasons, becoming one of the best stock car drivers ever to set foot in the series?

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: 2009 Season Preview

After one of the most economically brutal NASCAR off-seasons in recent history, it’s finally time to start focusing on performances on the stopwatch instead of on the balance sheet. This also spells good news for Professor Lumbis as I get to preview and critique this season’s rookies once again. The 2008 season was not kind to rookie drivers as only one – Sam Hornish Jr. – still has a full time ride in 2009. That success rate, or lack thereof, may have owners changing the way they think about who will give them the best chance of success behind the wheel. Instead of reaching out to the open wheel talents of other series, general managers are instead opting for stock car veterans to pilot their machines. The result is a much smaller rookie class this season, as only two drivers will compete full time for the Rookie of the Year Award while a handful of others will make spot starts throughout the next several months.

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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? Tom Bowles, Editor-In-Chief: "(Mondays / Bowles-Eye View)":https://frontstretch.com/staffinfo/359/ No question about it: Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus have the Chase mastered like no other. Forget three championships; with just a little more luck, they could have easily won all _five_ of the title trophies handed out under this new format. But here's the key to that paragraph I just wrote: racing luck. There's no doubt that with the talent on the No. 48 team, they'll clearly be not just a postseason participant but one of the top seeds to contend with once the 2009 Chase begins.

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2009 Season Preview: Will The Big Four Be Stopped?

Amy Henderson, Assistant Editor: "(Fridays / Holding A Pretty Wheel)":https://frontstretch.com/staffinfo/351/ It’s unlikely that anyone is going to break the stranglehold the Big Four have on the Chase, especially under the testing ban. It’s possible that Stewart-Haas or Richard Petty Motorsports could squeak a car in apiece -- likely Tony Stewart or Kasey Kahne -- but even Stewart, in his first year with a team that is rebuilding from an underfunded shambles, is unlikely to make a serious run for the Cup come Homestead. The Big Four have David Ragan already knocking on the Chase door as it is. Mark Martin will contend, and Richard Childress could put Casey Mears in position as well -- which means they could well be knocking just their own teammates out of the way for those positions come Fall.

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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? Tom Bowles, Editor-In-Chief: "(Mondays / Bowles-Eye View)":https://frontstretch.com/staffinfo/359/ No question about it, Mark Martin can still get the job done. New fans don't remember this stuff, but men like Harry Gant and Morgan Shepherd (yes, _that_ Morgan Shepherd) were wheeling cars into the Winner's Circle at 51, 52 years old in the 1990s. But visiting Victory Lane is one thing (which I guarantee Mark will do this year); winning the championship is a whole other matter altogether.

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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? Toni Montgomery, Senior Editor "(Fridays / Rick Crawford Driver Diary)":https://frontstretch.com/staffinfo/360/ Here's an idea: stop trying to play with the quality of racing -- thereby making the cars a moving target -- and just let the teams get used to them and figure them out. Every time NASCAR does things to improve the quality of the racing, it seems to go in exactly the opposite direction. How about letting the teams try to make those improvements for awhile?

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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? Tom Bowles, Editor-In-Chief "(Mondays / Bowles-Eye View)":https://frontstretch.com/staffinfo/359/ I have to admit, when it comes to Joey Logano I'm just a little bit biased. You see, it's not often my home state gets some love for anything other than casinos and ESPN, so underneath that whole objectivity thing there's a whole fan club in my heart hoping the next best thing in NASCAR grew up just 25 minutes away from where I dreamed of racing as a kid.

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