Recent Posts

Petty Fading, Feeling Pressure of Top 35

If you don't think those drivers fighting to get - or remain - inside the Top 35 in car owner points are feeling any pressure with eight races remaining...think again. Kyle Petty's obvious frustration towards Denny Hamlin following a lap 204 crash was without a doubt the expression of a disappointed driver trying hard to hold his spot in the field...not only for now, but ultimately for the first five races of 2008. The accident that ended Petty's day drops the No. 45 team to just one point away from the 35th and final guaranteed starting position, leaving them more vulnerable than they've been in quite sometime. To see who Petty is trying to fend off in the Top 35 battle, check out this week's edition of the Bubble Breakdown...

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Petty Pulling No Punches Plus Hamlin Having No Humility Equals A Draw

When you're a kid, you're always taught that two wrongs don't make a right. It's a simple enough theory, and certainly nothing new; there's plenty of examples that play out upon the public stage each day that prove its worth. Too bad Kyle Petty and Denny Hamlin chose to contribute to that growing pile of regrettable actions rather than take the high road. Although if one thing was clear after a wild Sunday at Dover, it was that the two couldn't avoid each other off the track or on it; as a result, they had no one to blame but themselves for causing a vicious wreck that left both drivers on the sidelines, their goals for the season thrown from feasible to far-fetched in the matter of five tenths of a second of contact.

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Nextel Cup Rookie Report: Montoya does the Monster Mash

*Rookies in the Starting Lineup*: Juan Pablo Montoya (2nd), A.J. Allmendinger (11th), David Reutimann (13th), David Ragan (35th), Paul Menard (38th) *Unofficial Finishing Positions*: Juan Pablo Montoya (10th), David Reutimann (18th), Paul Menard (21st), David Ragan (25th), A.J. Allmendinger (43rd) *Rookie of the Race: Juan Pablo Montoya.* Montoya tied this career best starting position by placing his Donnie Wingo-prepared Dodge on the outside of the front row for the third time this season (The other two second place starts were at Indianapolis and the August Bristol race). Matching the start with an equally impressive finish did not look likely for much of the day, however. The No. 42 Avenger quickly dropped out of the Top 10 as Montoya and Wingo fought a loose condition throughout much of the race. But after running around 15th for virtually the entire event - surviving a brush with Jamie McMurray in the process - the team was able to make a late surge after avoiding a 12-car wreck involving Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and several others on Lap 485. As the checkered flag flew, Montoya had moved up to 10th, earning his fifth Top 10 finish of the year.

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Busch Breakdown – Roadloans.com 200

*In a Nutshell* The start of the race looked a lot more like an ARCA race than a Busch series race, with three yellow flags flying in the first 20 laps. Ultimately there were 13 cautions during the race which made a run at the record number of cautions for the race and tied the highest total of cautions for the year. In between all of the carnage, there was some racing that took place, although Denny Hamlin made a shambles of most of the event. Greg Biffle led after the drop of the green flag, but only held the point for the first four laps, after that Hamlin dominated the race leading 138 of the 200 laps. His only real challenge came late in the race when Martin Truex stayed out on a late race caution and tried to use track position to his advantage. Hamlin restarted sixth but quickly moved back to the front and assumed the lead for the final time on lap 186. Truex was able to hold onto second, Matt Kenseth finished an unassuming third, Mike Bliss had a strong effort to finish fourth and Reed Sorenson put in a workmanlike fifth place run.

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Tracking the Trucks : Smith’s Las Vegas 350

*In a Nutshell:* Travis Kvapil took the checkered flag ahead of Johnny Benson to win the Smith's Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night. Kvapil outran Benson and Jon Wood, who finished third, in a couple of great side-by-side battles during the final six laps to score his fourth win of the season and ninth of his career. Terry Cook and Erik Darnell rounded out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won:* Kvapil. Kvapil scored his third pole of the season with a speed of 175.387 mph. He ran in the Top 10 the majority of the night, and crew chief Mike Beam was able to make the right calls and adjustments to turn the power on in the end. The driver of the No. 6 K&N Ford passed Jon Wood with just 13 laps to go and relinquished it only once officially when Johnny Benson led him by 0.09 with four laps to go.

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Voices From the Heartland: Kudos To Yates For Giving Up the Eights

Today I would like to use this weekly column to send a personal and public "Thank You" to Mr. Robert Yates. You see, his selfless giving of the number 88 to the Hendrick organization for Dale, Jr. to use, has actually helped solve many of my own personal problems. Granted, it's probably not the personal problems my friends and kin would think I should worry about, but they were things that were lingering in a dark corner of my mind and it is good to be rid of them. The first problem started over a year ago when my all time favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Jarrett, left Robert Yates Racing. I have tons of 88 stuff! Luckily, (and as I predicted) Jarrett's long time sponsor, UPS, decided to go with Dale when he went to Michael Waltrip Racing so, other than his number changing to 44, all my hats, shirts and other stuff were still publicly accepted. While the stuff that had the UPS logo and the ‘88' were still good, it was the things that just had the number on them that caused me a bit of concern. If I wear one of the many hats that is emblazoned with just the number 88 on it, would people think I was a Ricky Rudd fan? Luckily for this year anyway, it wasn't too big of a worry because I happen to like Ricky Rudd, but what would happen if some other yahoo started driving the 88?

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NASCAR Needs Tougher Drug Testing Policies-Before It’s Too Late

When NASCAR driver Aaron Fike appeared in court this week for a plea hearing on drug charges stemming from a July arrest, it was the most recent chapter in a story that has been repeated in NASCAR over the past few years. The only real difference was that the 24-year-old Fike was caught in a public place, while Shane Hmiel and Kevin Grubb were caught at the track and their transgressions were handled by NASCAR. But unfortunately, the similarities still glare-three young, up-and-coming race drivers who somehow let substance abuse get in the way of promising careers. And while the drugs are just one item on a long list of temptations for young men living on their own, traveling all over the country, with money to burn and questions to spare. Does my girlfriend/new group of friends want me for me or my career? What if it was over tomorrow? What if I can't do the job? Will I lose my ride? How can I get rid of this pressure? There are more questions than answers for these young drivers, and it must be awfully enticing to inhale or ingest a substance that makes those questions go away for a little while. It's not a wise choice, but it's available and easy. And at least in part, NASCAR is to blame.

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Wood, Whiskey, Women, and Winning : Curtis Turner

Curtis Turner started out driving well before he was old enough to get a driver's license. He hailed from the area of Bent Mountain, Virginia, and as with many who lived in remote regions of the South during this era, Turner worked to export the local product: Moonshine. He became as big of a legend running illegal liquor as he did on the track. His ability to outrun Federal agents as well as local law enforcement earned Turner respect for his skill behind the wheel and unlike his counterpart Junior Johnson, Turner was never apprehended by the police. He ran his first race in 1946 in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. He finished last in a field of 18. In his next start, he won, beginning a legend as the best driver ever to race on dirt.

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Tearing Apart the Trucks : Villeneuve Set to Make His Debut

Tomorrow evening, when the Craftsman Truck Series field takes the green flag for the Smith's Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, former F1 driver Jacques Villeneuve will make his NASCAR debut in the No. 27 Toyota Tundra for Bill Davis Racing. Villeneuve is scheduled to run the remaining seven races of the truck season as well as the ARCA race at Talladega in an effort to prove to NASCAR that he is worthy of a Nextel Cup ride for the 2008 season. Bill Davis, certainly inspired by Juan Pablo Montoya's relatively smooth transition to NASCAR from Formula 1, heard Villeneuve was looking for a ride and jumped at the opportunity to offer him one.

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