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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas

Frontstretch Power Rankings
Things at Texas happen fast these days, leaving the margin of error slim to none on what's become the sport's speediest track. From Kyle Busch cutting a tire to Carl Edwards having trouble on pit road, too many of the sport's biggest superstars discovered that answer too little, too late. The end result was a major shakeup in our poll this week, with our experts dropping no less than three drivers right out of the rankings. Luckily for Jeff Gordon, he already knew the dangers -- 0-for-16 for his career in the Lone Star State entering Sunday -- and was finally able to put the bad karma behind him in streaking to his first victory of 2009. But was Gordon's come from behind win enough to leave him on top of our list? Read on to see to find out in the latest edition of our Top 15.

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Mirror Driving: How The Cookie Cutter Crumbles, Jeff Gordon’s Place In History, And Big Apple Blues

*Jeff Gordon notched his 82nd career victory in the Samsung 500 last weekend. Where will he end up on the all-time wins list, and what will Gordon be remembered for years down the line?* Jeff: Well gee, let me look in my crystal ball! While you wait, here are the next lotto numbers … Bryan: Depends on how long he chooses to stay behind the wheel. If he stays another five years, I could see him getting to No. 2 on the wins list without a problem. He'll definitely be remembered among the all-time greats -- no questions asked.

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NASCAR News for Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brian Scott to Drive NNS No. 10 for Braun Racing Braun Racing announced on Tuesday that Brian Scott, currently the driver of the No. 16 Albertson’s Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series, has been tapped by Braun Racing to drive the No. 10 Toyota for four races. Only two …

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Full Throttle – Petty’s Better Choice For The Indianapolis 500

After hearing that John Andretti is going to drive a car fielded by Richard Petty to try and make the Indianapolis 500, the thought crossed my mind: Why not give someone else a chance who isn’t in a Cup ride right now? In his long and storied career of racing …

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Can Tony Stewart Win A Sprint Cup Title In His First Year As An Owner?

When Tony Stewart signed on the dotted line in July 2008 to assume 50 percent ownership in what was the struggling Haas CNC Racing outfit, there were plenty of people lining up to tell the irascible Columbus, IN native that he was making a colossal mistake. That it was a great deal financially speaking was the one thing that couldn't be argued; Stewart didn’t have to pay so much as one dollar for a half-stake in the two car outfit. But all numbers aside, the real issue was that Haas CNC Racing had hardly set the racing world alight in its first six years of operating. Indeed, a driver who'd spent the last decade defined by stock car success had purchased a team seemingly destined to fail.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

Jeff Gordon’s large winless streak came to an end Sunday in Texas – where everything is big. While Gordon got a giant weight lifted off his shoulders other drivers felt huge swings in the points. Greg Biffle gained eight spots in the standings, after his 3rd place Texas run, while Mark Martin’s 6th place finish gained him nine driver’s points positions. A.J. Allmendinger’s ignition issues relegated him to a 34th place finish and lost him five spots in the points and Kevin Harvick and Michael Waltrip each lost four places in the points, after lousy runs. Inside the Top 12, most drivers changed at least one spot and Matt Kenseth led the points swingers, climbing three spots to 9th, after running 5th in Texas. Jeff Gordon also is seeing his points lead stretch, as you will find out in this week’s list of *HOT*, *WARM*, and *COLD* drivers.

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas

_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 sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway:_ "If you're in this sport long enough -- and whether or not you’ve had success -- you're gonna have ups and downs. When you don't win and have to hear about it every weekend, you feel like you've never won. If I hadn't gotten out first, I wouldn't have won. We had a great stop, and that was all the difference. That's how important track position is with this car." _Jeff Gordon_

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Talking NASCAR TV: Digger Returns… But That’s Not The Only Problem With Texas Coverage

Hello, race fans. Texas provided us with long green flag runs on both Saturday and Sunday’s races. Usually, this means that the field gets extensively stretched out, and Texas was no exception to the norm. So, how did this weekend’s television coverage add up? Let’s take a look. On Saturday, the Nationwide Series, back from a week off, raced in the O’Reilly [Auto Parts] 300. ESPN 2, with their commentary crew of Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree was on hand for the call. Kevin Harvick, winner of the most recent Nationwide Series race (the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol), did not race on Saturday and sat in with Allen Bestwick and Brad Daugherty in the mobile studio.

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Beyond The Cockpit: Aric Almirola Makes A Sales Pitch, Mulls His Future, And… Signs A Shoe?

_After earning a full-time ride for the 2009 season, this was the year Aric Almirola was to step out of the shadows and into the limelight of what's expected to be a strong Sprint Cup future. Indeed, it's been a career's worth of ride sharing for the Florida driver, whose only win in NASCAR's top three divisions is a then-Busch Series ride in Milwaukee ... one where teammate Denny Hamlin jumped in the car instead to win it after Almirola started the race._ _But after a one-year apprenticeship under Mark Martin -- one where Almirola drove a limited schedule to prepare for his Sprint Cup transition -- he's finding full-time isn't all it's cracked up to be. Now 37th in the points with six finishes of 30th or worse in seven starts, his EGR organization is meeting as we speak this Tuesday to determine if the car will even make the trip to Phoenix (Almirola has no primary sponsorship remaining from any company this season). Only time will tell whether the young driver gets a second lease on life; but in the meantime, he stood around chatting with our Tom Bowles about the struggles of his 2009 season to date. He also talks about his new race shop, the one thing he can't live without, and a rather strange fan request ... involving a shoe?_

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I Watched a Great NASCAR Race!

What makes a great race? Do they still exist? Even as Jeff Gordon wrote the story for the Cup Series on Sunday, and I’m thrilled as all heck for him, the racing still was, well, a bit boring. Yes, he broke his Cup losing streak at Texas where he had …

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