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NASCAR News for Wednesday, April 29, 2009

David Poole Dies at 50 Longtime NASCAR writer David Poole passed away on Tuesday, the victim of a heart attack. He was only 50 years of age. Poole had been on the staff at the Charlotte Observer for the previous 13 years as their head NASCAR reporter. In addition, Poole …

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Full Throttle: So Much For Emotion In The New NASCAR

Last year Brian France told everyone that he wanted to see more emotion out of the drivers. The fans wanted to see that drivers were human and actually got excited about their sport. The sanitized, corporate pitch men were supposed to be replaced by passionate racers who were out there …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Edition

What a weekend! The roller coaster-esque ebbs and flows of storylines and drama poured through Talladega more than at any track in a long time. The breakthrough win of David Ragan in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 Nationwide Series race was impressive enough -- but it merely set the stage for what would be a remarkable finish the following day. At first, it seemed after a series of "Big Ones" it was the usual suspects who would rise to the front at the end. Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. almost fulfilled that prophecy, creating their two-car breakaway during the final restart of the Aaron’s 499. But just when you thought they had it won… something unexpected actually happened in the Sprint Cup Series, as the two-car tandem of Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski blew by them on the white flag lap. And after using some brilliant strategy, it was none other than Keselowski who scored his first Cup win, handed owner James Finch his first, and assisted in one of the wildest, scariest crashes ever.

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Talking NASCAR TV: FOX “Back Of The Pack” Battles No Laughing Matter For Fans

Hello, race fans. I don’t know about you guys, but I was real scared watching that wreck that Edwards had Sunday at the end of the Aaron’s 499. Not so much for Edwards -- but for the fans themselves. After the race ended, I thought back and realized that the crash looked a little like the late Neil Bonnett’s wreck in the DieHard 500 in July 1993 as opposed to the infamous Bobby Allison one from 1987 that was referenced on FOX. But in the end, it didn't matter which wreck was the worst; they were all bad, giving the catchfence a serious test that could have led to a devastating loss of life. Thank goodness everything held up and no one was seriously hurt in Sunday's last lap mess. OK, time for the usual TV review.

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

_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 special Nationwide Series peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway:_ "Talladega is such a crapshoot. You can't expect anything. Can't expect to win, can't expect not to win. I knew that I had to get locked into somebody's rear bumper if I was going to run up to the front. And even then you don't know if it's going to work out. I gotta apologize to Carl for wrecking him, but man the rule is you can't below the yellow line. He blocked, and I wasn't going below it. I don't want to wreck a guy but you're forcing the situation. This is NASCAR racing, and this is cool. I can't believe it." _Brad Keselowski_

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Tracking the Trucks: 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas

*In a Nutshell:* Mike Skinner was standing on pit road in the rain when he got word he won the rain-shortened O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 presented by World of Warcraft Monday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Skinner led the field when the red flag flew on Saturday for rain, and found himself in that same top spot when the rain came again on Monday. Reigning champion Johnny Benson finished runner-up to Skinner, with Brian Scott, Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Brian Ickler rounding out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won: Mike Skinner.* Skinner led the first lap after the green flag flew and went on to lead a race-high 67 laps overall. Skinner's crew chief, Eric Phillips, spent the latter parts of the race watching the radar. Knowing rain was moving into the area, the team put just enough fuel in Skinner's truck to allow him to get off pit road first and race to the rain.

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Beyond the Cockpit: NASCAR’s Hockey Player Turned Nationwide Rookie Michael Annett

Amy Henderson, Frontstretch.com: For the fans who don’t know your background yet, tell me how you got into racing -- I understand you had to make a choice between racing and another sport you love. Michael Annett: Yes. I grew up my whole life playing hockey across the Midwest, around Iowa and Minnesota. I was actually born into a family that had racing in its blood.

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Why I Don’t Love Plate Racing Anymore and Up Next: The Best Month of the Season

Even by Talladega’s “biggest, baddest” standards, that was quite the race weekend in Alabama, wasn’t it, dear readers? Matt Kenseth’s crash in the Nationwide race was violent and scary looking, but it pales into almost insignificance when compared to the carnage the airborne No. 99 Ford Fusion caused on the final lap -- not to mention the double helping of the "Big One" that bookended the 188 laps of mayhem and general disaster. I wasn’t able to watch the race in normal time, so when I finally got home and fired up the DV-R, it was already quite late in the evening.

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When Radio Killed the NASCAR TV Star

Look, every week we get together and complain. We grumble about the terrible car, rude drivers, annoying animated critters, destroyed TV presentations and boring races. It’s pretty much an endless pit of NASCAR annoyance, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking… do you think it might just be us? I am the …

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Numbers Game: 2009 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega

0.175 Brad Keselowski‘s margin of victory over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Saturday in the Aaron’s 499. 1 Career win for Keselowski in five starts. 1 Career Cup win for car owner James Finch after Keselowski’s trip to Victory Lane on Saturday. 1 Number of times winner Keselowski led the Aaron’s 499 …

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