Recent Posts

Harvick Needs to Mind His P’s and Q’s

There is little doubt that Richard Childress Racing has bounced back in the past few years, reestablishing itself as one of the premier racing organizations in the world of NASCAR Nextel Cup. After nearly two decades of success - most notably with the late Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel of the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet - the organization had seen a steady decline in their performance towards the end of the '90s, even before the tragic death of the "Intimidator" in 2001. In the wake of Dale's death, it was Kevin Harvick, his replacement, who's accomplished the most for RCR on paper, winning two Busch Series titles while finishing in the Top 5 in points twice. It's a list of accomplishments that gets you thinking Harvick was the missing piece responsible for getting a fledgling organization back on track. But, in reality, that's hardly the case - and in the wake of recent performances, Harvick's now facing an uncomfortable scenario of being the only weak link in a rapidly forming playoff chain over at RCR. Despite what the stat sheet says, it is not necessarily Harvick who is leading the charge back to respectability for RCR. It takes more than one to make a team - crafty veteran Jeff Burton and sophomore driver Clint Bowyer have every bit to do with the team's recent turnaround.

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Top Ten Things California Speedway Could Do To Fill the Stands

10. Remove about 20,000 seats. 9. Offer the O. J. Simpson Driving Experience, complete with a free pair of driving gloves. (They fail to fit, by the way…) 8. Plant lettuce and other forms of produce in the infield, and tape an application for harvesters on every seat. 7. Replace all ISC-owned concessions and Wolfgang Puck's restaurant with In & Out Burger stands.

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NASCAR: Lacking Southern Flair?

Looking back at the history of NASCAR, it's not a big secret that the roots of the sport lie squarely in the Southeast. With the series founded in a smoke-filled room in Daytona Beach, Florida, back in 1947, the sport spent the '50s and '60s building its reputation on tracks like Darlington, Martinsville, and little dirt ovals scattered all over the Southeast. Since then, NASCAR has clearly opened itself up to become a national phenomenon...but despite decades of immeasurable growth, not everyone understands the way it has expanded. In fact, one of the stinging criticisms that has always bothered me has been when people claim the sport is "just a bunch of Southern rednecks driving around in a circle." That leaves me baffled. Well, what is the NBA and the NFL then? A bunch of drug dealers, dog fighters, and violent felons running back and forth chasing a ball around?

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Mirror Driving : No Bristol Bumps, Villeneuve Takes His Lumps, And Can AT & T Get Back Over The Hump?

*With the Chase drama all but played out with two races to go, were drivers at Bristol playing it a little too conservative? Rate how you felt the track did in its first Cup effort since the repaving, and whether we'll actually have any drama left in the regular season come Richmond.* Amy: I thought it was great as far as the track was concerned-there were two grooves, and they tried to make it three a few times. Mike: I thought the race was great. I thought three wide at Bristol was awesome. Beth: It wasn't too bad...it was just different. Tom: Frankly, I think all this stuff about boring racing is due more to the Car Of Tomorrow and the Chase than anything else.

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Did You Notice? Bristol…And Beyond

*Did You Notice*... That in the final restarts of Saturday night's race at Bristol, Carl Edwards had none other than Elliott Sadler - Kasey Kahne's teammate - lining up beside him on the inside every time. But even though Sadler could have made himself a roadblock - opening the door for second-place Kahne to make a move - he instead bowed out of the way, a remarkable statement of a class for the Virginian who's had a tough year himself on the Nextel Cup circuit. Then again, Sadler knows all too well the problems a lapped car can pose - he nearly lost his victory at Texas three years ago when the No. 30 of Johnny Sauter stayed in the racing groove in front of him on the final lap. After that incident, Sadler's never wanted to be "that guy" who affects the outcome of a race, and he clearly did a great job of making sure he didn't this past weekend.

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Ain’t That A Shame – But Who’s To Blame For Bristol?

It seems I am in the minority about the "new" BMS - I actually enjoyed Saturday night's Cup race, a drowning voice in the face of mounting criticism against the track. What I saw throughout was a lot of two and even three wide racing, along with passing throughout the pack. Yes, two cars - the No. 9 and the No. 99 - dominated the race, but keep in mind that Matt Kenseth led 415 laps en route to his win in the 2005 Bristol night race. So, such domination is not without precedent even at the old Bristol. Still, many fans and even some members of the media proclaimed Saturday night's race at Bristol "boring" (or worse). In fact, many feel the night race has been ruined.

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Who’s Hot / Who’s Not in Nextel Cup: Bristol Edition

For some, the racing at Bristol Saturday night was the best it has been in years. For others, it was a Bristol race in name only, with no fireworks and little excitement. But no matter which side of the fence you are on, there were plenty of winners and losers coming out of the annual madhouse that is Thunder Valley in late summer. Carl Edwards added another ten bonus points to his Chase count, and should get extra points for sticking the backflip on Bristol's high banks after his second win of the season. On the flip side, Denny Hamlin's fried engine left him with just his second career DNF. In between, what could have been a big night for a points shakeup amongst the Chasers instead never materialized, with no driver falling out of, or moving into, the playoffs. So, what drivers exited the Bristol bullring feeling like they had fought off the beast, and which ones felt like they got a horn square in the backside? Read this week's Who's Hot and Who's Not to find out.

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What’s The Call? Jacques Villeneuve – Boom Or Bust?

*Today's Question : On Friday, Bill Davis Racing announced Canadian Jacques Villeneuve will drive for the team in the Craftsman Truck Series, with an eye towards bringing the former Formula One winner into Cup full-time by February, 2008. Can Villeneuve follow in Juan Pablo Montoya's footsteps and succeed in Nextel Cup - or will the open wheeler be destined for failure in his transition to American stock car racing?* Kathy Grindle: In 2008, Jacques Villeneuve is going to bring to the No. 36 Toyota what Jeremy Mayfield couldn't — success. That's not meant to be a stab at Mayfield, but Villeneuve simply has both the talent and focus needed to bring something new to the team next year. Vito Pugliese: With the announcement of Jacques Villeneuve testing this week for Bill Davis Racing, it appears as if yet another successful open wheel competitor will be making the transition to that left-turn only circuit. And while expectations are high for the 1995 CART and 1997 Formula One World Champion, I'm thinking that you shouldn't expect a whole lot out of him for 2008 - at least when it comes to something with a roof and four wheels.

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Running Their Mouth : Sharpie 500

_Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race and capture 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 the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Sharpie 500 on the newly repaved Bristol Motor Speedway._ "Man, this is the biggest win of my career. I can't thank Bob Osborne enough and all my guys. My pit crew was awesome, and I want to thank my fans for sticking behind us. It means a lot. I am living the dream thanks to Jack Roush, Roush Fenway, Office Depot. Anybody out there who has a dream, just follow it. My little brother is racing tonight, and I know he's watching. Mom, Dad, Kenny...I love you guys, and to win this race is cool. We're back." _Carl Edwards_

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Numbers Game : Sharpie 500

*1st* Career Cup victory and third Top 10 finish at Bristol Motor Speedway for Sharpie 500 winner Carl Edwards. *1.405* Edwards' margin of victory over Kasey Kahne (in seconds). *2* Victories and 10 Top 10 finishes this season for Bristol winner Carl Edwards, who clinched his spot in the Chase with Saturday night's win. *2* Cars dropped to the rear of the field prior to the start of Saturday night's race. (No. 01 - Aric Almirola and No. 11 - Denny Hamlin for engine changes)

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