Race Weekend Central

Fanning the Flames: Race Fans Throwing More TLC at TRG

Q: Can you please clear up something for me? Since the No. 8 team is shut down, I wonder why NASCAR would not have asked or told Teresa [Earnhardt] to let the number follow Dale Jr. If NASCAR owns the numbers, what’s to stop them from making that call. Now there is another great car number that won’t be on the track, and a lot of us feel that it should still be with Dale Earnhardt Jr. That number will always be identified with him.

Did You Notice? Lesa Takes The Helm, NASCAR’s Expensive Engines & No Guts, No Glory

Did You Notice? The highest-placed Nationwide-only driver has the potential to be someone the series could finally market itself around over the long-term? After a few inconsistent seasons behind the Braun Racing Toyota, Jason Leffler sits an impressive fourth in points six races into the season, just 196 points behind the Carl Edwards–Kyle Busch championship battle up front. Leffler hasn’t won a race yet, but he’s with one of the few Nationwide-only outfits that have the resources to do so, especially when we come to standalone races later in the season like Gateway and IRP.

Mirror Driving: NASCAR Safety Gone Overboard, Catching Hendrick & Steve Wallace… Cup Driver?

Saturday’s Nationwide Series race saw Joey Logano grab just his second career victory in the series. Is this the confidence builder he needs to get his Cup career on track, or was it simply further proof this series is where he should have been all along?

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 NASCAR Drivers NOT in Sprint Cup

With the off week in full swing, it presented an opportunity for the Frontstretch experts to do something a little different. Instead of grading the Cup guys, we took a look at those drivers who often get shunned from the spotlight these days… the drivers exclusive to the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series desperate to make a name for themselves. These divisions are filled with established veterans and young guns mixed together to provide a cornucopia of driving talent. And since you never know when a Cup ride will become available… we thought it’s high time to figure out who’s proved himself most worthy of filling the spot as of late. Read on to see if your favorite non-Cup driver made the list in this special edition of the Power Rankings.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In NASCAR’s Other Top Series

Something that both the Nationwide and Truck series do share is a two-driver breakaway in the points standings. However, while one of those battles is just heating up, the other threatens to cool down as soon as Kansas in two weeks considering one or both of the drivers involved may not run the full schedule. Which championship in which series am I talking about? Find out by checking out the HOT, WARM and COLD drivers of NASCAR’s second and third biggest series. Not surprisingly, the way things are these days, you will notice a familiar name or two from Sprint Cup on the list.

Bowles-Eye View: Sliced Bread Keeps the Nationwide Series Stale Without His Presence

As Joey Logano entered victory lane Saturday in Nashville, he flashed a smile the likes of which hasn’t been seen in months. Seven weeks after struggling through a nightmare of a rookie season in Cup, 300 miles in the Nationwide Series reminded us there’s still potential there for young Joey to pair with that hype. It’s the type of experience that you’d hope would make the teen sensation feel right at home in stock cars. Too bad he doesn’t get the chance to feel it often enough.

Talking NASCAR TV: Creative Approach to Practice Makes ESPN Shine at Nashville… Until Nemechek’s Flip

Today, the cars race on the day before Easter (Holy Saturday) at Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval near Nashville, Tenn. This past weekend’s Pepsi 300 was the first standalone event of the new season for the Nationwide Series, so ESPN2 decided to use it to try some new things. For the final practice session, ESPN decided to essentially “adopt” a team and follow them all through practice. In this case, they chose the No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier for Penske Championship Racing. The broadcast basically showed how the team was fine-tuning their Charger every step of the way, using shocks and other changes to perfect the handling of their racecar. I found it quite interesting, to be honest, and it wound up being a great addition to their show.

Fan’s View: Classy Joe Nemechek Proves Winning Isn’t Everything

What was so interesting, you ask? With eight laps to go, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. turned down the track and ran smack into an unsuspecting Joe Nemechek. This resulted in Nemechek’s No. 87 taking a leisurely roll down the frontstretch. Moments later, the car righted itself… still pointing in the right direction! Nemechek immediately put his foot on the gas, bounced off the outside wall and drove away.

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Pepsi 300 at Nashville

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members and car owners themselves. This week, here’s a special Nationwide Series peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Pepsi 300 at Nashville

Overcoming early problems with lugnut glue on pit road, JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano managed to conquer Concrete Carl, changing the lead multiple times at the front over the last 100 laps before Logano took control for good on lap 216, en route to scoring to his second career Nationwide Series victory. Carl Edwards, who led 45 laps, surrendered the lead on lap 135 after his tire changer reported that he had failed to tighten enough lugnuts on the previous pit stop. The mistake mired Edwards back in 25th, a gap he never recovered from.

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