NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tony Lumbis

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Cup Rookies Avoid That Vegas Gambling Temptation… And Survive

Plenty of people were wondering when we would see this new, bright young star named Joey Logano live up to the hype. Well, we started to get a glimpse of his talent today -- but it wasn’t because of where he finished but rather, how he got there that showed it. In an afternoon full of carnage and failing equipment, Logano displayed the poise and maturity of a 10-year veteran, avoiding problems and ensuring that he stuck around until the end.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Freshmen Cannot Dodge Wrecks at Daytona

This week’s Rookie Report 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 p.m. ET. When are the networks going to realize that fans want racing, not marathon pre-race shows?

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

The last couple of weeks have been my first time racing a Sprint Cup car on a restrictor-plate track. The biggest difference I think between Cup and the other series that I’ve run is the level of talent. In other superspeedway races I’ve been involved with, if they start to get out of shape, they’re wrecking. Here in the Cup series, they can save it without wrecking and its just a lot more fun to race. Speaking of wrecking, I was so happy to be watching the ARCA race down here from the sidelines this year. That race was practically the Organ Donor 200, absolute insanity. I’m so over doing that.

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Closing NASCAR’s 7th Decade: The Top 12 Drivers — Including The Champ Who’ll Lead Us Into 2010

With 2009 offering one last chance to shape the story of the decade, more outlandish stories beg to be written. Jimmie Johnson will be looking to set a record never thought possible, especially under the Chase playoff format -- four consecutive Sprint Cup titles. To do it, he'll need to fend off perhaps the strongest field of challengers he's ever had, with Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Kyle Busch the trendy picks to break his streak. In the background looms one of the better rookie battles of the decade in Joey Logano vs. Scott Speed: NASCAR's handpicked future messiah against the quirkiest newcomer it's had in years.

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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