Recent Posts

No News Is Bad News: Dark Days Still Loom On The Horizon For NASCAR

After taking last week off after covering the LifeLock 400 at Michigan, there have been a few stories floating around that provided some ammo for this week’s column. Some are the same retreads we've all heard before, but regardless of what information has come to light, the answers remain the same. Even after spending a weekend as a garage area imbed (yes, that’s right – I didn’t leave out an “r”), there are some things in NASCAR that I don’t understand. Now I know what you’re going to say. “No kidding Vito, your columns every week are proof positive of that.” While that very well might be true (and funny), the weekly news items that pop up give me pause for reflection. Literally.

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

Frontstretch Power Rankings
Mother Nature interfered in yet another race this season, causing some drivers who don’t normally run in the top 15 to come home with quality finishes at New Hampshire. Joey Logano was perhaps the happiest of all to see the raindrops, becoming the youngest driver ever to win a Cup race at just 19 years old. But was setting the record with a little extra gas enough fuel for the experts to vote him inside our poll's top 15? On the flip side, many of this year's Chase contenders struggled through a jumbled finish that had them losing several spots in the final running order. Did that cause them to fall a few more notches down the Frontstretch ladder? Well, you'll just have to read below to find the answers. Check out this week’s top 15 rankings to see if your driver found gold at the end of the rainbow -- or if his hopes were just left out in the rain at the Magic Mile.

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Beyond the Cockpit: Bobby Labonte on Adjusting, Winning, and… Shooting The Truck?

_At a time when veteran drivers are becoming a thing of the past in NASCAR, Bobby Labonte is the rare fortysomething who's remained a fixture in the series. Indeed, the sport has changed quite a bit since the Texan captured his lone Cup title nine years ago -- but one thing that hasn’t is how hard it is to win races and championships. In fact, Labonte says, it’s tougher than ever these days, evidenced by a slump of his own that's gone on far longer than anyone might have expected. He last visited Victory Lane at Homestead in November, 2003, and has yet to make the Chase since the playoff began one year later. This season to date has been the worst of his career statistically, as he's got just one top 10 finish and ranks 28th in the standings in his first year driving the No. 96 Ford._ _Still, Labonte's NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup titles stand as a NASCAR record -- no other driver can lay claim to both. Amy Henderson sat down with Labonte to discuss whether that mark will ever be broken, why his season has been such a struggle, and how a little fun involving two brothers and a pickup truck may have been the coolest thing that's ever happened in his life._

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Talking NASCAR TV: Loudon Telecasts Marked By Bill Weber’s Departure In The Booth

Greetings, race fans. This past weekend, all three of NASCAR’s major series were in action. The Truck Series was in Millington, TN at the Memphis Motorsports Park for the MemphisTravel.com 200 presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts. Meanwhile, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were both in Loudon, NH for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 and Camping World RV Sales 200 presented by Turtle Wax, respectively. The NASCAR Camping World East Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Series also provided additional support; but unfortunately, those races didn’t get the coverage they deserved this past weekend. I should say that the Camping World East Series was televised on HDNet, but there were still a whole a lot of people who didn't get a chance to see it.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon Edition

Now, we move on to this week’s matters… Joey Logano stole some history at New Hampshire on Sunday, becoming the youngest driver to win a Sprint Cup race by not pitting his No. 20 Home Depot Toyota during the last round of pit stops, taking a gamble and hoping for rain at his home track. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli’s decision quickly made up for Logano’s run-in with Ryan Newman, as well as the resulting flat tire and spin that resulted from it midway through the race. But while Logano's upset victory continues to be the big story, there were a few other upstart runs, as well, considering that rained-out qualifying placed the top points contenders in the top starting positions. And while few relinquished their top spots Sunday, there were some that broke through and in hopes of reversing their unlucky trends so far this season. Here are the *HOT*, *WARM*, and *COLD* drivers for this week… the first of the ten races that precede the advent of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

_Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all of 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 peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire International Speedway:_ "This is so special. I think your first win, no matter where it's at, is huge. Obviously it's not the way you want to win your first race, in the rain, but 20 years down the road when you look in the record books, no one will know the difference. I'll take them any way I can. This is my home track and where I watched my first Cup race. A lot of guys at Joe Gibbs Racing are from the northeast, so it's cool to get a win here." _Joey Logano, Raybestos Rookie of the Race_

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Numbers Game: 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

1 Number of times winner Joey Logano led the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sunday. 1st Logano’s finishing position in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 earning him rookie of the race honors for the 12th time this season. 2 Drivers failed to qualify for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. (No. 51 …

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