NASCAR Race Weekend Central

10 Points To Ponder… After the 2007 UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega

1. Masterful Move – Jeff Gordon clearly demonstrated not only why he has 80 career Cup wins, but is now in sole possession of the title “most career plate wins” in NASCAR history. Gordon turned a push from Dave Blaney into a sweet move to the middle, getting out from behind teammate Jimmie Johnson to sneak away with the victory. Tucking his rear bumper just in front of a charging Tony Stewart, Gordon gave Stewart no choice but to push him to the win. Gordon now has 12 restrictor plate wins, passing the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., who had 11.

Bowles-Eye View: Can Cup Drivers Bring Restrictor Plates to Their Knees?

Sunday afternoon’s event was the first for the Car of Tomorrow at a restrictor plate track – but the race wasn’t as notable for the different type of car as it was for differing strategies. Last week, conserving fuel was on the agenda for Kansas; this time around, it was just downright going slow. That’s right, as slow as you possibly could without losing the draft.

Nextel Cup Rookie Report: Villeneuve, Montoya Not Terrified by Talladega

Making his first Nextel Cup start for Bill Davis, Villeneuve shocked the NASCAR world by turning in the sixth-fastest qualifying time, easily making the field in which five of the top six were Toyotas. Respecting the concerns of his competitors about debuting at one of the most dangerous tracks on the circuit, the Canadian made the classy move of falling to the back of the field before the green flag even waved. The former Formula 1 and Indy 500 champ spent the rest of the day trying to simply make laps, stay out of trouble, and not be the cause of the “Big One.” Mission almost accomplished.

Tracking the Trucks: 2007 Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega

Todd Bodine took the checkered flag 0.014 seconds ahead of Rick Crawford to win at Talladega on Saturday afternoon. Bodine survived an intense three-wide battle with Crawford and Johnny Benson to win his second race of the season. Jason Leffler and Dennis Setzer rounded out the top five. Rookie of the year contender Willie Allen finished sixth, his best finish of the season, followed by Ron Hornaday Jr. in seventh. Chad Chaffin, Regan Smith, and Jon Wood rounded out the top 10.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: NASCAR Probation? No Problem! Do What You Want & Don’t Pay Later!

When Tony Stewart failed to show his face in the media center following the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix this spring, Stewart was placed on probation for failing to follow one of NASCAR’s many rules; in this case, the one that says the top three finishers go to the media center and answer lots of reporters’ questions. For whatever reason, Stewart was pissed off and didn’t go. Obviously, that didn’t sit well with the powers that be, and it wasn’t helping Stewart’s cause that he’d said some not-so-stellar things about the sanctioning body on the radio earlier in the week. So, NASCAR put him on probation.

Full Throttle: The Impact of Nationwide on NASCAR

Nationwide Insurance has signed a seven-year agreement to be the title sponsor for what is now the Busch Series, taking over for Anheuser-Busch, who has been in control since the series’ “inception” in 1982. The insurance company is not new to NASCAR; Nationwide has had an agreement with Speedway Motorsports for the past eight years, and provided free transportation at SMI tracks along with information guides. They will also become the official auto, home, and life insurance provider of NASCAR with this agreement, taking over the role that is currently occupied by Allstate.

That’s History Profile: Bobby Allison

Bobby Allison started racing around southern Florida while he was in high school, but after one too many accidents, his dad, “Pops” Allison made him quit. Following graduation, Bobby, along with brothers Eddie and Donnie, ventured north in search of more competitive and financially rewarding competition. It didn’t take long; they found their calling in nearby Montgomery, Ala. After getting wind of a race at Montgomery Raceway, Bobby entered his car – and won with ease. He never looked back as Donnie, friend Red Farmer, and some other buddies of his decided to set up shop there; soon after, what became known as The Alabama Gang was born.

Voices from the Heartland: Hey NASCAR, Where Did The Extra $100 Million Come From?

Barely a week after I wrote about how Anheuser-Busch is severing almost all ties with the sanctioning body of NASCAR after the season – opting instead to focus on its Budweiser sponsorship of Kasey Kahne – a viable replacement has been found for the support series its leaving behind. NASCAR CEO Brian France announced Wednesday that Nationwide Insurance will become the new entitlement sponsor for what is currently known as the Busch Series.

“We are thrilled that we had the opportunity to select a partner in Nationwide Insurance who is as excited as NASCAR about taking the NASCAR Nationwide Series to even higher levels of popularity,” said France. “Nationwide Insurance is an ideal partner for NASCAR, advocating safe driving and already serving millions of NASCAR fans with its auto, health, and life insurance. The company has a real passion for NASCAR, which will benefit our fans and all participants in our industry.”

I’m Just Sayin’… Greg Biffle Won, Period

Watching the end of Sunday’s weird, wacky Kansas Cup race, I was as stunned as anyone to hear Jimmie Johnson say in his immediate post-race interview that he didn’t think Greg Biffle won the race. “He was clearly out of gas,” said Johnson. “I feel terrible for Greg. He’s been working so hard to win a race and he was up there in position to win it. But if you don’t maintain pace car speed, you don’t hold your position. And it was clear to everyone that he couldn’t do it. If he could have, he would have stayed on the bumper of the pace car to the finish line. So in my opinion, where he coasted across the finish line relative to the other cars that could maintain pit road speed is where he should finish.”

Mirror Driving: The Kansas Debacle, Dale Junior’s Bobble, & Was Biffle’s Wobble to the Finish Legit?

How should the race at Kansas have been completed on Sunday? Should they have called the race at 148 laps, run the race on Monday… or done something in between?

Amy: I think they did it right, under the circumstances.
Nikki: I agree, Amy, and not just because I wanted to get my money’s worth.
Beth: They probably should have specified a time for the race to end not a lap number.

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