NASCAR Race Weekend Central

What’s Vexing Vito

What’s Vexing Vito: Life Beyond The Chase – Putting Things In Perspective for The Other 31 Drivers

Now that the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup is upon us, the usual band of detractors have come out of the woodwork, citing a few familiar reasons why they don’t like The Chase format. I will be the first to admit, I think the format for determining the Sprint …

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Ousting A Veteran Driver At His Best Track For An Unproven Rookie: Par For The Course In NASCAR

It was announced this week that 2000 Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte was going to be replaced in effect, by Roush Fenway Craftsman Truck Series driver Erik Darnell in seven of the final 12 races this season. Labonte started this season as the latest driver of the No. 96 Hall of Fame racing machine, which in recent years has been piloted by such luminaries as Tony Raines and J.J. Yeley. With Labonte’s name between the A and B pillars of the car, and sponsor Ask.com on the hood - replete with some memorable if awkward commercials – the team was able to survive what was almost certainly an untimely demise following the conclusion of the 2008 NASCAR season. Now as the 2009 schedule approaches the Chase cut off in a couple of weeks, it appears that Labonte will in effect be cut off from the No. 96 Ford – a car in which he has pulled yeoman’s duty in this year. Moreover, it occurs on the weekend that the series comes to what has been the best track in Labonte’s illustrious career.

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Practice Makes Perfect and Tire Test Puzzling – Chase Contenders Get A Leg Up On Competition At Dover

In my weekly Voice of Vito piece yesterday, I wrote how some of the rules in NASCAR need to be amended to make more sense and provide additional equity to the sport. I went off on the pit road speed limit (which is an oxymoron if you think about it, …

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Chevrolet Dropping New Camaro – And The Ball – For Nationwide Series In 2010

The announcement that many musclecar and Mustang fans had longed to hear was made official yesterday, as Ford confirmed that it will be campaigning the 2010 Mustang next season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. It is a welcome announcement for the NNS, which has been struggling to find its identity …

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What’s Vexing Vito: Unsolicited Opinions on Things You Haven’t Thought About Until Now

In this space each week, I usually wax poetic – or manic – depending on your view, on some topic that has been, by this point in the week, completely beaten to death and rehashed to the point that you probably can’t fire off a letter to me quick enough, …

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Déjà Vu To You, Too: Hendrick Teams Virtually Guaranteed 2009 Sprint Cup Title

With a much-needed off week prior to the 16th running of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis next Sunday, the Sprint Cup teams fighting for a spot in the Chase are gearing up for what will be a slugfest in the final seven races to determine who gets a shot at the championship following Richmond in September. With less than 200 points separating fifth from 13th in the standings, the margin for error for those competing for the title no longer exists. Each and every team has to be virtually flawless from here on out, executing excellence at each event to qualify for championship contention this Fall. Yet while that is all well and good, making for good story fodder down the stretch, their efforts will prove a moot point altogether... because the 2009 Sprint Cup champion will come out of the Hendrick Motorsports stable.

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Back To The Few Sure – Roush Looks To Rebound From Miserable Season at The Friendly Confines of Daytona

Remember that scene in Dumb & Dumber when Lloyd Christmas starts saying, “Find a happy place…” ? Earlier this week, the stress of the day job got to be a bit much, so during lunch I went to my favorite place of refuge – the auto parts store. Don’t ask …

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Johnny Benson Ousted From Red Horse Racing

“I have a lot of faults Brad, but ingratitude isn’t one of them.” – George C. Scott in Patton – 1970 That line came to mind this week, when it was announced by Red Horse Racing, that defending Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Benson, Jr. was being booted from …

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What’s Vexing Vito: Carl Long Penalty Further Proof That The Little Guy No Longer Is Welcome In NASCAR

Much like Lloyd Christmas in Dumb & Dumber, just when you didn’t think NASCAR could do anything more asinine than they have as of late, “they go out of their way and totally redeem themselves!” – i.e., out do even themselves yet again. Carl Long, who two weeks ago was …

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