Recent Posts

Fanning the Flames: Frances Among Several Families Searching For Strength While Facing Tragedy

Sports can seem so trivial at times. We look to racing, baseball, football, et al as an escape from our everyday grind; a rough week at the office can be forgotten for three or four hours on a Saturday or Sunday while we immerse ourselves into a reality that doesn't parallel our own. An afternoon spent on the couch watching the guys go in circles or hitting the perfect golf shot, while only temporary in its relief, can be satisfying in its own voyeuristic sort of way.However, the tragic events of Tuesday, when a small plane manned by Dr. Bruce Kennedy and Michael Klemm crashed into a suburban Orlando home killing five people, made the events of this past weekend's Daytona thriller seem trivial at best. Kennedy was the husband of ISC President and NASCAR executive Lesa France Kennedy, while Klemm was a NASCAR Aviation pilot.

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Rating the Nextel Cup Rookies: 2007 Midterm Report Card

Now that the Pepsi 400 is in the record books, the 2007 Nextel Cup Series officially enters the second half of its racing season. While that means much welcomed visits to familiar tracks for this year's rookie class, there's still one major obstacle they have yet to endure before moving forward - Professor Lumbis' dreaded midterm grades.OK, so maybe my evaluation isn't exactly on the top of their list of concerns. However, it would not be a bad idea for each of these drivers to analyze the first half of their season, learning whatever lessons they can to help make the remaining months as successful as humanly possible.

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Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: Chicagoland Edition

*2007 Chicagoland Driver Handicaps**Jeff Gordon* - Gordon won this race last year and has Top 5 finishes in four of his six starts at Chicagoland. With a 10th place average finish, Gordon doesn't beat around the "Busch," although some days, we are sure he'd like to.*Denny Hamlin* - Hamlin finished 14th here last year in both the Busch and Cup races.*Matt Kenseth* - Kenseth finished second here in 2005 and is averaging a twelfth place finish in six Chicagoland starts.*Jimmie Johnson* - Johnson has finished sixth or better in all five of his Cup starts at this track, with his best result coming back in 2004, when he placed second. Chicagoland was also the site of Johnson's only Busch Series victory to date - a win that made a lot of pundits finally think Rick Hendrick hadn't flipped his lid after all when he chose Johnson for a Cup ride.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans : Chicagoland Edition

The Nextel Cup Series heads to Joliet, IL this weekend to kick off the second half of the season at one of NASCAR's newest - and most predictable - facilities. Despite its reputation for being just another 1.5 mile "cookie cutter" track, Chicagoland Speedway is showing her age, developing a wider racing groove capable of supporting side-by-side racing.The Summer sun bakes the track's surface, making it slippery. Handling is always a priority but, when you take into consideration the heat wave that that has been gripping most of the country, it will be of the utmost importance this weekend. While track position has been critical in the past, the wider racing groove is taking that out of the equation more and more. When choosing your fantasy lineup, pick teams that typically make their car handle the best; they will be the ones to prevail.Which teams will spend their weekend heading in a perfect racing line mentioned above, and which ones will find themselves led astray? Read on to find out who to sit and who to keep in this week's Fantasy Picks 'N' Pans.

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Tony Stewart: No Excuse For Bad Behavior

It is no longer particularly noteworthy when Tony Stewart attacks fellow competitors that impede him in his never-ending pursuit of winning NASCAR Nextel Cup races. In fact it has almost become expected that Tony will provide choice derogatory critiques to nationwide audiences of his fellow competitors should they challenge his on-track progress or find themselves swapping paint with the 2-time Cup Champion. But until Saturday night when Tony Stewart directed his patented brand of vindictiveness towards his own teammate Denny Hamlin, many have attempted to justify and excuse Stewarts chronic poor behavior. However, Stewart's verbal bashing of Hamlin during the telecast of the Pepsi 400 was so clearly uncalled for, and beyond defending that even the staunchest of Tony Stewart supporters have been left speechless.

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Top Ten Reasons Kyle Busch is REALLY Mad at his Hendrick Teammates

10. They all have Supermodel wives - AND can remember their names.9. The company Holiday cards were sent out signed "Rick, Jeff, Jimmie, Casey, and Kurt's Little Brother."8. Just because it says Corn Flakes ON the car doesn't mean they need to put all those Corn Flakes IN the car!7. They make him use the guest bathroom at the shop - and all the fans stare.

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Tearing Apart The Trucks : Fike’s Fall From Grace

The drivers of the Craftsman Truck Series got a break this past weekend, and while some drivers spent that time resting and relaxing, others spent it capturing headlines. Aaron Fike was arrested Saturday night with lady friend Cassandra Davidson at Kings Island after the park reported Fike's SUV as suspicious. Fike tried to drive away when the Mason City Police Department approached the vehicle, but another officer pulled in front, forcing him to stop. After a thorough search of the car, the two offenders were taken into custody and arrested after officers found heroin, syringes, and spoons with residue stashed inside. According to police, Fike admitted taking the drug; if that's true, those words will cause another promising Truck Series career path to be flushed down the tubes.NASCAR's substance abuse policy was instituted in 1988, and it's pretty straight forward. NASCAR may conduct random drug tests on a whim; if a driver refuses to take the test, he is suspended until he passes, giving NASCAR a reason to consider allowing him to return to the track. However, if he fails the test outright, he is immediately suspended, offered a treatment plan, and considered for reinstatement only after completing his recovery under the watchful eyes of NASCAR. Although it will consider lifting a suspension, NASCAR officials have said there is one rule they will not bend : a three strikes and you're out policy.

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Mirror Driving : Stewart vs Hamlin, Kyle Busch vs The World, and Jamie McMurray vs The Weight Of Expectations

*Jamie McMurray's win : Long time coming, or lucky son-of-a-gun?*Tommy: Long time coming…and well earned, too. He drove one heck of a race. Cami: I think it's a long time coming. He had a good car Saturday night; it clearly wasn't a fluke. Tony: I'm not ready to label him a championship contender quite yet, but McMurray should've been good for one or two wins a year for awhile now.

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Green & 13: Unlucky as Ever for Ginn Racing

At Daytona in February, Mark Martin made his debut for Ginn Racing by winning the Daytona 500...but losing the Daytona 505 by little more than one foot. Many argue that he got worked out of it by NASCAR's controversial decision to not throw the yellow flag for a crash off turn four until after the checkered flew. Not one to dwell on the past, Martin took the momentum from that run and put it to work, reeling off a series of impressive runs in what used to be Joe Nemechek's car. Nemechek was now driving the No. 13, a team that was hastily assembled following Martin's arrival to expand Ginn Racing into a three car arsenal for 2007. It was a move that should have led to on-track success...if only there were the money to fund it.At first, expansion and success for Ginn this season brought a basic form of respect along with it. What once was a decent 2nd-tier Cup operation was suddenly contending for wins and possibly even championships after only a few short months under Bobby Ginn's ownership.

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Nextel Cup : Pepsi 400 Edition

Saturday was supposed to be the luckiest day of the year - July 7th, 2007 (7/7/07). On that fateful night, some of NASCAR's greatest drivers were lucky, indeed, finding no problem pulling the lever and hitting that jackpot on the slot machine of restrictor plate racing known as Daytona International Speedway. While Jamie McMurray snagged the biggest payout, Kyle Busch discovered you make your own luck, and for all the talk about numerology, Clint Bowyer ended up just where he was destined to...in seventh place. In the midst of it all, Saturday night's race provided the usual restrictor plate fireworks that we've all come to expect. There were teammate squabbles, finger pointing, bashed-in race cars and fiery tempers, all of which led to a gambler's delight on wheels - one of the closest finishes ever recorded in NASCAR history.So, which drivers were blessed with a visit from Lady Luck down south, and which ones were left alone to contemplate what might have been? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not in Nextel Cup to find out.

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