NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Driven to the Past: NASCAR’s Most Spectacular Accident

While surfing the web, I ran across a video of the big wreck they had at Daytona in the Sportsman race back in 1960. They started 68 cars. Speeds were a then-incredible 150 mph. Banjo Matthews and Fireball Roberts were one-two at the start-finish line when the trouble started behind them in turn 4. At the end of the first lap, there was only 31 cars left in the race. That’s right, 37 cars in all damaged or destroyed without completing a full lap. As I understand it, miraculously, there were no serious injuries, just cuts and bruises. This is still known as NASCAR’s most spectacular accident. Sure gives a new meaning to the “Big One.”

Did You Notice? 2 Juniors Speak Out, We’re Chasing the Old System & Max Papis?

Did You Notice? That under the old points system, the championship battle would be far from over? With three races left, Jimmie Johnson would lead Carl Edwards by just 98, with Kyle Busch hanging on by a thread at 203 points out. Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle would round out the top five, but neither would have a shot at the title. Should the 1-2 finish for Johnson and Edwards hold, it would be the second time in the last three years the old system would have “been better.” In 2006, Johnson won his first title over Matt Kenseth by 56 points in the Chase; but in the regular season, that margin would have been just four – the closest championship battle in NASCAR history.

Mirror Driving: Chasing the Chase, Tiring Tires & Flipping the Bird

Carl Edwards’s win at Atlanta barely closed the gap between he and points leader Jimmie Johnson. Is the championship battle officially only between these two? And what has to happen for Edwards to win?

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2008 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta

1. Eating Sushi – Expectations of a takeover of Chrysler by General Motors are gaining credibility, as both company’s fortunes continue to spiral downward as the world economy continues to slump. However, the buzz in the NASCAR garage is that it is doubtful that Chevy, Ford, and Toyota will be willing, as a result of the continued souring of the business climate to absorb many, if any of the Dodge teams that may be left out in the cold with a GM/Chrysler alliance. Remember when NASCAR thumbed their noses at foreign automakers? At this point, they need to hope that Honda executives are a forgiving lot…

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Kroger On Track For The Cure 250 at Memphis

On lap 29, a handful of drivers came in for fresh tires and adjustments at Memphis… and it turns out that made all the difference. A caution on lap 126 after over 90 laps of green flag racing left less than 10 cars on the lead lap, including Carl Edwards, whose No. 60 Ford was the class of the field. Edwards was never seriously challenged for the lead throughout the rest of the race despite multiple late-race cautions, and made coming from the back of the pack look easy, scoring a relatively easy victory. Defending race winner David Reutimann got his No. 99 Toyota to second with a few laps to go, but he refused to use the bump and run to move Edwards out of the way, a decision Reutimann later questioned himself for making.

Nuts for Nationwide: The Future is Now at Memphis

For race fans out there looking for an event to watch this weekend where the storylines and action will be there regardless of how the points leader does, look no further than the Nationwide Series race at Memphis. Clint Bowyer is leading the purse-snatcher brigade and stands poised to claim the title in NASCAR’s second-tier series, but there is a lot going on in the event’s 50-car field.

Perseverance the Specialty for Doug Taylor, No. 61 Team

Fast forward 10 years. With co-owner Charlie Shoffner and the same driver that scored him his only career win as an owner, Doug Taylor returned to full-time Nationwide Series competition in ’08 under the banner of Specialty Racing. And while the No. 61 car is not contending for wins, or even top 10s just yet, the season can’t be considered anything short of a success. After failing to qualify for the season opener at Daytona, the team has qualified for every race since, racing its way into the Top 30 in owner points and a “locked-in” starting spot in the Nationwide field. That’s an impressive record for a single-car team with no sponsors. More impressive? They’re ready to go full-time again, sponsor or no sponsor, in 2009. In a period of economic turmoil that has seen far better-funded Nationwide teams closing their doors, this relatively unknown team has no qualms talking about being at Daytona this coming February.

Did You Notice? Who’s Making Fans Turn Away, Why Martinsville’s Lost & Marc Davis Debuts

Did You Notice? NASCAR’s TV ratings at Martinsville were down significantly this weekend, an overnight 2.9 as compared to a 3.3 in 2007? That low rating isn’t going to do the Virginia track any favors when it comes to whether it keeps a second date beyond the 2009 Cup season. Personally, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the circuit, a short-track bullring that epitomizes racing the way it ought to be. But just like with other tracks that have lost dates through the years, NASCAR fans need to start putting their money where their mouth is – or in this case, their remote – before it’s too late.

Kenny Wallace Driver Diary: Rumors, Superspeedways & Looking Ahead

I got a surprise. I’ve kind of been down and out lately, not running the way I want to on the racetrack, and then Michael Waltrip called me out of the clear blue to see if I would race (the No. 00 Sprint Cup car) at Talladega. I really needed that–an old dog needs a bone–and I was able to go to Talladega and qualify 14th and finish 12th. In the meanwhile, people talked good about me, and that lifted my spirits up. I really had to run that race on defense. There was a lot of pressure to make sure I got the maximum points for Michael Waltrip Racing. So I raced the way I had to run, and we finished 12th. I felt I got the very best finish I could have possibly got. I was fighting for 10th spot with Elliott Sadler and Aric Almirola as we came off turn 4 to the checkered flag. So we finished 12th.

The Yellow Stripe: Sizing Up the Standings, What’s Left to Decide in 2008 for NASCAR’s Top-3 Series

There are just 33 days left (and 14 races across all three series) in the 2008 NASCAR season, and we’re getting inexorably closer to the time of year the prizes are handed out. So, with a little over a month left in the season, let’s take a look at where things stand, post-Charlotte, in NASCAR’s top-three divisions.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from