Race Weekend Central

Mirror Driving: Daytona Disappointment, Yellow Line Disgust, & is Kenseth a Hall of Famer?

The Daytona 500 had several controversial moments, but the biggest was the race being shortened by over 100 miles due to rain. Did NASCAR do the right thing by starting at the scheduled time, or should the green flag have been moved up so that the entire race could be run?

Talking NASCAR TV: SPEEDing Through 2009 Daytona 500 Week in 3,000 Words or Less

Now that Speedweeks at Daytona are over, it is time to look back and reflect upon what we have seen, and what we have been provided for our viewing pleasure by NASCAR’s media partners for Speedweeks (FOX, SPEED and ESPN2). Before I begin, I should state this. Speedweeks is supposed to be the most important time of the year in NASCAR, at least for the television partners. This is because the races at Daytona during Speedweeks are the biggest events of the year for each series that races. This includes the ARCA Re/Max Series that had their season opener back on February 7, in addition to NASCAR’s three national series. As a result, telecasts of said races should be held to a greater standard. It is to this standard that I have to critique the broadcasts.

Tracking the Trucks: 2009 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona

Todd Bodine took the checkered flag 0.249 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch to win the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night. Bodine overcame an early-race black flag for advancing his position below the double yellow line on his way to victory lane. Terry Cook, rookie JR Fitzpatrick and Ron Hornaday Jr. rounded out the top five.

Beyond the Cockpit: Colin Braun on Truck Racing, Year 2

In his rookie season last year in the Camping World truck series, Colin Braun amassed eight top 10s in 25 starts and finished 13th in points, claiming Rookie of the Year honors. His 2009 campaign got off to a good start, grabbing the pole for the season opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 and finishing ninth. Frontstretch caught up with the 20-year-old driver prior to his impressive Daytona run at the NASCAR Media Day to discuss is confidence level heading into 2009 and whether or not he would consider going back to sports car racing.

Rick Crawford Hopes to End Winless Drought Tonight in Daytona

You can’t fault Rick Crawford for being anxious to start tonight’s NextEra Energy Resources 250. After all, Crawford hasn’t won a Camping World Truck Series race in over two years, has only been behind the wheel for two practice sessions since the 2008 season finale at Homestead and is at the track where he has accumulated the most points of any driver over the past six seasons. While most fans associate Crawford with Daytona for his three-wide win in 2003, he has consistently been one of the series’ strongest drivers at the 2.5-mile track, scoring six top 10s in nine starts.

Voice of Vito: The NASCAR Stimulus Package – What Can Be Done to Jump Start Racing in America?

There are a myriad of changes on the horizon for NASCAR as the 2009 season kicks off in grand fashion this week. All (or most) of them are aimed at cutting spiraling costs of competing at any of the three levels of America’s premier racing series. Considering this, I got to thinking… what would I put forth if I were president (or owner) of NASCAR for a day? What would be my racing stimulus package? Below are a list of my demands, decrees and edicts, all aimed at injecting a little bit more life into a sport that once graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as “America’s Hottest Sport.”

Mirror Driving: The Fallout of No Testing at Daytona, Dueling For… What? & Avoiding Short Fields

Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout featured several multi-car crashes that took out some top contenders — including rookie sensation Joey Logano and Cup champions Bobby Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Was this to be expected in a non-points race, or is it an ominous result of the testing ban — and is there more to come as the ban continues?

James Buescher Driver Diary: Let’s Get Back to Racing!

This year Driver Diary contributor Rick Crawford will take on the role of mentor to his new teammate, 18-year-old James Buescher (pronounced Busher) who takes over the wheel of the No. 10 MaxxForce Diesel by International Ford F-150. Rick thought it might be interesting for his fans to get a different perspective and hear about the Camping World Truck Series from the point of view of his young protege for 2009. We welcome James as our new Driver Diary contributor and we hope our readers enjoy getting to know this very talented newcomer.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Let’s Go Racing Boys!

As is the case with most NASCAR winter breaks, this one was filled with news of rule changes, teams closing their doors and driver shuffling. In an effort to help teams save money, NASCAR changed the number of crew members allowed over the wall during a pit stop. Only five crew members will be allowed over the wall, and teams are not permitted to get fuel and tires on the same stop. In addition, the crew chief must choose only 12 active crew members to travel with the team. Defending series champion Johnny Benson is one of the many drivers that find themselves with new teams. Prior to being crowned the 2008 champion, Benson announced he would be leaving Bill Davis Racing and might possibly retire from racing full time following the final race of the season. As it turned out, Benson got out at just the right time.

Mirror Driving: Auctioning Off Daytona, Bud Shootout Blues & Playing Cupid with Crew Chiefs

Welcome to Mirror Driving. Every week, your favorite columnists sit down and give their opinion about the latest NASCAR news and rumors. Love us or hate us, make a comment below and tell us how you feel about what we’ve said! This Week’s Participants: Vito Pugliese (Wednesdays/Voice of Vito) Beth Lunkenheimer (Tuesdays/Running Your Mouth & Various/Frontstretch Truck …

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