Recent Posts

It’s Not A Sport, It’s A Business: The Start And Park Phenomenon Threatening NASCAR’s Future

At Fontana just a few short weeks ago, millions of NASCAR fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. After offseason talk there wouldn’t be enough teams to fill the field in each of its top three divisions, the Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series divisions all had enough cars to fill an entry list for the second race of the season. But beneath the surface, all was not as healthy as it seemed. While Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards were there to win the race per usual, the reasons some cars and drivers showed up were far different than what you’d want to believe as a race fan. These teams – nestled within the middle and back of NASCAR’s starting fields -- were there not to compete, but to turn a healthy profit, all while padding the sport’s bottom line in the process.

Read More »

Don’t Jump, It’s Not Worth It! NASCAR’s Biggest Names Stumbling Along The Ledge On Off Weekend

The Sprint Cup Series is off this week, giving some teams a much-needed break. Not so much from the cross-country grind that is the first month of the season... but rather, to the stop the bleeding instead. For some teams, the first few races have gone like Rocky’s first few rounds with Clubber Lang: taking a beating is admirable, but after awhile, you wish for somebody to intervene and throw in the towel on your behalf. Mercifully, one of the few off weekends has come at just the right time to put a stop to the brutality for some of the biggest names in the sport. Heading into Atlanta this past Sunday, David Reutimann, Bobby Labonte, and Michael Waltrip were the apple of everyone’s eye – faces and names we haven’t seen atop the standings in awhile. Or ever.

Read More »

Top Ten Reasons To Run Into The Infield Grass During A Race

*10.* Owwww! Those lugnuts hurt when they hit you in the hiney! *9.* To avoid a non-attentive Dale Earnhardt, Jr. *8.* Instead of "Drop and give me 20!" Coach Kerr says, "Sprint to the frontstretch and back!" after a subpar stop. *7.* Because those Goodyears seem to do some craaaaazy things at the racetrack.

Read More »

Did You Notice? … DNFs Are A Good Thing, NASCAR Needs A Senior Tour, And Menard’s Mediocrity?

*Did You Notice? …* Crew member Jimmy Watts’ penalty does not include a monetary fine … and I’m fine with that. A lot has been written about the pure idiocy of Watts running off pit road and onto the race track in order to catch a runaway tire that drifted out of Marcos Ambrose’s pit. But before you start screaming about how his bonehead move ruined your favorite driver’s shot at the win, let’s go ahead and put ourselves in his shoes for a minute. Or can we? No one can understand the sheer intensity of a green flag pit stop, a 15-second pressure-packed moment in which one mistake can ruin your team’s chance to visit Victory Lane. In the case of Ambrose, you had a team overachieving to the tune of three top 22 finishes to start their first full season on the Cup circuit. You had a driver running reasonably well, whose chances at a fourth solid finish suddenly got put in jeopardy the second that tire started rolling out of his pit box.

Read More »

Mirror Driving: Substitute Drivers, Runaway Tires, And Are The Buschs The Best Siblings Ever?

*Both NASCAR and a crewman from the No. 47 team, Jimmy Watts, took a lot of flack for the yellow flag that flew in the midst of a pit cycle as a result of the crewman chasing a tire, causing several good cars to be trapped a lap or more down. But was either one really wrong in their decision?* Vito: I think his cousin is that guy who ran up to Kenseth's car at Watkins Glen under a red flag and asked for an autograph. At least he had that BMX helmet on. Beth: It was just plain dangerous, and Watts didn't think. All he saw was a tire rolling out of control. NASCAR had no choice but to throw that caution.

Read More »

Beyond The Cockpit: David Ragan Talks UPS, Getting Aggressive, And Roush’s Future

_Much is expected of David Ragan in 2009 after having a breakthrough season in Sprint Cup in 2008. Coming within a Richmond wreck of making his first ever Chase for the Championship, the sophomore driver ended up 13th in the final standings, earning him a big-money reward in the form of new, top-tier sponsor UPS backing his No. 6 Ford Fusion._ _So far, it's been a rough start for the duo, as the third-year driver sits 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings with as many DNFs as top 10 finishes (1). But in sitting down with our own Doug Turnbull at Atlanta, it's obvious the tough luck hasn't been bothering the 23-year-old young talent, who dished out mature, well-thought out opinions from everything to start and park teams to whether Roush Fenway Racing will actually follow through and contract from five to four cars in 2010._

Read More »

Chasing Tires and Consequences: A Crewman’s Desperate Disaster

It was the worst possible scenario. By Lap 67, all but six cars had pitted on a green flag run, then the dreaded yellow flag dropped. Unless you were one of the lucky fans whose driver had held off, the pit of your stomach dropped out. No…no…NO! Almost the entire field was a lap down! We bit our lips. What? Why! Who caused it? Already we could taste blood, anxious to bestow a withering blow to race control for declaring some infinitesimal piece of debris the culprit for the untimely caution.

Read More »

Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Atlanta Motor Speedway Edition

As the 2009 season wears on, some of the teams that have had early success are finding themselves in a point standings freefall. As they disappear from view, the composition of the top 12 is starting to take form, with annual contenders slowly creeping towards and into that coveted threshold. The season may be early and the beginning of the Chase months away, but these men are proving they will be threats nearly every week. At the other end of the points are heavily-funded teams that find themselves one bad race away from beginning Martinsville, the first race that uses 2009 owner points, without the comfort of being locked in via the top 35 rule.

Read More »

Running Their Mouth: Kobalt Tools 500

_Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all 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 sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway:_ "This was big. I have to thank my Miller Lite guys, this car was unbelievable. Good things come to those who wait. We've waited over a year and a half for this CoT to find a good package, and we've had that to start 2009. Penske power is back! This feels awesome. I've got to thank guys like Carl Edwards for racing me clean at the end." _Kurt Busch_

Read More »