NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Sadler Top Choice To Replace Hamlin

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Sources have told the Frontstretch Elliott Sadler has been chosen as the primary sub for Denny Hamlin. All that’s preventing an official announcement, as of Wednesday AM is a few details to work out with sponsor Fed Ex. Sadler, who was long pegged as the likely choice is driving full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series and was scheduled to drive a fourth Cup car in a limited schedule later this season. That Cup announcement has been put on hold due to Hamlin’s injury; ironically, Sadler’s expected fill-in role will serve as an extended audition.

Open Wheel Wednesday: Season Opener Round Table

*New season, fresh start! What are your thoughts on some of the rule changes for this season that give the teams more leeway on strategy and try to take mileage runs off the table? (starting on any amount of fuel, making it anything goes with tires during qualifying, changing race distances)*

Toni Montgomery, Senior Editor: I like it but I wonder how it’s going to play out. Are teams going to go on their own strategies or do you go with the herd?
Huston Ladner, Senior Writer: Anything that encourages more in-race strategizing is welcomed. It gives teams all kinds of opportunities to give different ideas a chance.

Going By the Numbers: The Cup Season’s First Off Week, Before and After

After these last few weeks, perhaps a breather is the best thing for the Sprint Cup Series.

Two straight weeks have resulted in post-race feuds and, on Sunday, a spectacular finish from which Denny Hamlin had to be taken to a local hospital.

Now, the series (as well as the second- and third-tier Nationwide and Truck series) faces an off week, giving the teams a week to regroup from the west coast trip to California in preparation for what promises to be an action-packed Martinsville race.

Winning on Saturday Makes Rowdy Better on Sunday

Joe Gibbs is a genius. When working out a contract extension with Kyle Busch in the offseason, Gibbs added in a small wrinkle that didn’t receive much press at the time. It said that if Busch was going to race in the Nationwide Series, he was going to race in Joe Gibbs Racing equipment. Gibbs …

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Near Catastrophe Mixed With Fontana Excitement: 3 Reasons How And Why

It was true, though. Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin fighting for the lead post-Bristol/Twitter feud on the final lap of the race and I think we all knew what was coming next. Regardless of all those who were looking to Martinsville for “Round 2”, the 22 and the 11 were just inevitably drawn together in Fontana. Logano slides up the track, into Hamlin, and Hamlin takes the ride of his life that eventually sends him to the hospital.

Happiness is… What Happened This Weekend In Racing

*Happiness is… The Unknown*
The Nationwide race on Saturday did not portend to what would transpire on Sunday in Cup. With the field spread out during long green flag runs, Kyle Busch took his dominant car to Victory Lane with a sense of ease and lack of incident. Had his teammates, Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers, not endured their issues, the race might have been more interesting, but it seemed that Busch had things in control.

Five NASCAR Truths We Already Know For 2013

The 2013 season is just four races old, and already we’ve seen some things to think about as the year rolls forward. From who’s at the top of the standings to who’s closer to the bottom, what the Gen-6 can—and can’t—do, and attendance falling as TV ratings rise, the last month has been full of surprises. While it’s definitely too early to accurately answer a lot of the questions that this season has already posed, we do know some things…and are still completely in the dark on others.

So, while we don’t know which teams are going to get ahead with the Gen-6 cars and therefore be the biggest title threats, how that car will perform say, 20 weeks from now, or whether the ratings will continue after the early-season hype wears off, there are some truths that you can just about take to the bank as the season progresses.

Going By the Numbers: Keeping A Sizzling NASCAR Start Throughout 2013

Four races into the 2013 season, the top performer at Richard Childress Racing is not the guy you’d expect. Not Kevin Harvick, the 19-time Cup winner and current flagship of the organization. Not Jeff Burton, the past-his-prime veteran who can still turn in a solid finish here and there. Not even Kurt Busch, whose Furniture Row Racing team is, according to him, basically a fourth Childress car.

Shattering NASCAR’s Open-Wheel Curse… With A Second Chance

One driver said a derogatory term and was suspended, another was fined for a slight criticism of his car, and 28 fans were injured when pieces of a car shot through and over the fence at Daytona.

There have been plenty of negative stories in the opening weeks of the 2013 NASCAR season. There also have been a few positive stories. Look no further than the Nationwide Series point leader.

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