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Big Six: 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? It might have been the most unnoticed top ten finish of the night, but Sam Hornish, Jr. grabbed his career-best finish at phoenix with his unheralded ninth-place. It was Hornish’s first top 10 finish in Sprint Cup competition and the second top 10 …

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Nuts for Nationwide: TV Coverage Strangling the Nationwide Series

Back when the deal was first announced that ESPN would be returning to NASCAR broadcasting, and would also be giving the Nationwide Series a steady, permanent home, I was absolutely thrilled. What could go wrong here: a network whose Wide World of Sports coverage was largely responsible for NASCAR’s ascension from a niche to a national pastime and a mainstream TV home for NASCAR’s second-tier series? How could I have been so naïve? ESPN’s coverage of the Nationwide Series race at Texas was without question the worst of their NASCAR broadcasts I have ever seen. And while Nashville was an improvement, much of what was wrong with the Texas telecast was again evident during coverage of the first standalone race of 2009.

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For Jamie McMurray, the Writing Is On the Wall

When NASCAR’s four-teams-to-an-owner policy goes into effect after this year, Roush-Fenway Racing is the only major team to be affected. The organization will be forced to drop one of its five Sprint Cup teams, and that hasn’t exactly been a secret-the day has been coming for a couple of years. However, some people were taken by surprise when the news came out earlier this week that the team to go would be the No. 26, currently driven by seventh-year driver Jamie McMurray. Perhaps the timing of the news was a surprise, but the contents shouldn’t be.

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Why We Don’t See As Much Emotion As We’d Like

Some NASCAR fans say they want to see more emotion from drivers, complaining that so many of them are corporate robots these days. Even Fox Sports’ Larry McReynolds has joined the chorus. This in an age when the current crop of drivers includes Tony Stewart, who is good for at least two or three post-race rants a season. Or Kyle Busch, who parks his car, gets out and lets his crew push it to the garage after a slow pit stop cost him a win. Or Carl Edwards, who went after his teammate on camera during an interview. Or Jeff Gordon, who emerged from his car after getting spun and gave a shove to the perpetrator without even waiting to take off his helmet. Or Kevin Harvick, who leaped onto a rival’s hood and did his best to put holes in it with his feet. Or Robby Gordon, who executed his own burnout after a botched official call cost him a victory. Racing is not an endeavor where keeping one’s head is easy or should even be expected. By definition it is unnerving. Imagine driving on a congested highway full of aggressive drivers at three times the speed. Competitive fire got these guys to this level. They’re human and sooner or later they’re going to lose it with someone. It does happen.

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Driven To The Past: Just Thinkin’ And Rememberin’

I’m tired of hearing all these technical explanations about engine failures. It was much better when the driver and crew chief just said, “It blew up.” Besides, all of these technical terms are ignoring the real reason that the cars run. We suspected the truth back in the day, but I never heard it explained quite as well as an old mechanic did in telling my son about it one day. Forget all that stuff about pistons, rods, camshafts, crankshafts, bearings, etc... What really makes a racing engine run is magic smoke. Ever notice all the smoke that comes out of a car before it falls out of a race?

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Kenny Wallace Driver Diary: The Mysterious Nationwide Schedule, Nashville, and Why I Love Baseball

Mexico City was taken off the schedule this year. We’re making up Mexico City with the Iowa date. I’m thrilled to death to be going to Iowa-I’ve tested there a couple of times and it seems like a really nice racetrack. We ran at Mexico City for five years, and it seemed like it was a good time to leave Mexico. It was a little bit hard to get any rhythm going at the start of the year. At one time we had two complete weeks off. It dawned on me how the drivers in the Camping World Truck Series must feel--guys like Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday. They must feel like they don’t ever race. When Daytona starts, you pretty much know you’re going to race every week, but this year, the Nationwide Series had such an odd schedule.

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In Case You Missed It: Friday, April 17, 2009

Jack McCoy, Camping World West Series Champion, Dies at 72 Jack McCoy, the winningest driver in the Camping World West Series of NASCAR, passed away Tuesday. “Jack was a tremendous competitor and representative of NASCAR on the West Coast,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications. “Our thoughts …

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NASCAR News for Friday, April 17, 2009

Wild Card All-Star Driver Voting Begins The voting to determine who will be the wild card driver in this year’s All-Star Race in Charlotte has begun. Fans can vote at Sprint or at NASCAR’s website. Last year’s wild-card was Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Dodge for Evernham Motorsports. …

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Blue Smoke and Burnt Rubber: Chapter 5

Mesa Verde Race Park Chris leaned against the railing on the top of the hauler, the warm spring breeze somewhat easing the tension that coursed through him. The yellow lights flashed in the turns and the pace car brought the field down pit lane, avoiding the scattered sheet metal on …

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Side By Side: Does The NASCAR Points System Need An Overhaul?

*Today's Question : Seven races into the season, Jeff Gordon already holds a lead in the points so large, all he needs to do is start the race at Phoenix to maintain it no matter where he finishes. But even with such a large cushion, he wouldn't even be the point leader in the playoffs if the season ended today.* *Is this a sign our points system needs a major overhaul? Or should we keep things the way they are?*

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