Recent Posts

Tony Stewart And Ryan Newman Should Enjoy The Honeymoon While It Lasts

A two car team with established veteran drivers behind the wheel, quite a few wins between them, one a former Cup champion. Sharing engines and chassis with one of the top outfits in the business. Luring away a capable mechanic from Hendrick Motorsports, a fellow who performed more than adequately sitting in as a crew chief during the full-time crew chief’s suspension. And the support of a couple of big name sponsors. It seems as though the future is bright for Stewart-Haas Motorsports.

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It’s a Mix of Cheers and Boos for NASCAR’s 2009 Schedules

NASCAR released the 2009 schedules for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and truck series this week, and there were a few changes for each circuit as the sport moves forward. On the truck calendar, NASCAR hit a home run, and the Nationwide circuit was a stand-up double. The Sprint Cup schedule, however, was more of a weak ground ball to second base for the first out of the inning.

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Driven To The Past: An Uneasy Feeling

People seemed to get a kick out of it when I talked about being a little apprehensive (OK, scared) while working on pit road back in the day. Lemme tell ya about a day at Salem, Indiana when things happened so fast I didn’t have time to get scared. It was 1963, and I was standing on the inside of the second turn of that high-banked half-mile during the feature, when a car suddenly bounced off the outside wall and then skidded down to the apron. I could see heat waves, or alcohol flames, coming off the tank and the left rear tire where fuel had apparently spilled, but a fireman standing nearby apparently hadn’t been told that alcohol burns with a colorless flame.

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Kenny Wallace Driver Diary: Road Racing, Drag Racing (Sort Of) and Looking Forward to Racing In Iowa

Speed TV put together a highlight reel showing NASCAR drivers learning to do a big burnout in an NHRA car. I’m lucky because my sponsor is JEG’S. JEG’S High Performance sponsors my TV shirt and my dirt car. I have to tell you, it was an incredible experience. It was me and Clint Bowyer, and we were blown away by how violent a Pro Stock drag racing car was. You watch the Pro Stocks on TV, and you think, well, they go 200 miles an hour in 1500 feet. We got in there and there is so much to do!

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Tearing Apart the Trucks: 2008 Bristol Breakdown and More

*In a Nutshell:* Kyle Busch took the checkered flag 0.386 seconds ahead of Todd Bodine to win the O'Reilly 200 presented by Camping World Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch survived multiple late race restarts and a green-white-checkered finish to win at the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Scott Speed, Johnny Benson and Rick Crawford rounded out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won:* Johnny Benson. Kyle Busch and Benson both had very strong trucks and were on different pit strategies. Kyle Busch pitted his No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Tundra on lap 42 and remained on the track for the remainder of the night despite some teams complaining of blisters on their right front tires. Benson, who pitted on lap 104 in 2007 and went on to win that race, pitted on lap 118, and the large number of late race cautions prevented the driver of the No. 23 Toyota from catching the leader. Had Johnny Benson had more green flag laps, Kyle Busch would have had his hands full.

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Side By Side: Were The Gibbs Penalties Too Harsh?

*Today's Question: Following Saturday's Nationwide Series event, Joe Gibbs Racing was accused of tampering with their race cars during post-race inspection. By placing magnets underneath the accelerator pedals, JGR hoped to reduce the amount of horsepower NASCAR would read off their chassis dyno as they researched whether more rules changes were needed to equalize horsepower between manufacturers.* *The sport's reaction to this transgression was swift -- and it was severe. Crew chiefs Jason Ratcliff and Dave Rogers have been indefinitely suspended, along with five other crew members accused of participating in the project. Both the No. 18 and No. 20 cars lost 150 championship car owner points, and drivers Joey Logano and Tony Stewart lost 150 driver points as a result of the incident.* *It was one of the harshest penalties handed down by the sport this decade; but were those penalties far too much for a scenario that didn't occur until after the race? Or did NASCAR let JGR get off easy for a deliberate violation that -- if left undetected -- could have kept the sport from permanently changing the rules to level the playing field?* Bryan: Throughout the 2008 Nationwide Series season, Joe Gibbs Racing has made it look so simple. But just as they have made competing in the series look easy, NASCAR let JGR off easy on Wednesday when they announced penalties for the most blatant episode of cheating seen in NASCAR this season. At first glance, the penalties laid down by the sport seem harsh enough. You've got points deductions ... heavy fines... and indefinite suspensions of crew chiefs and other key race personnel. But upon further review, this punishment does not come close to fitting the crime. Mike: Of course, NASCAR has to rule the sport with an iron fist, and their implementation of penalties will certainly determine how seriously teams look at cheating. However, handing down suspensions that are open ended for activities that relate to teams trying to gain an advantage with their race cars is simply unreasonable.

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: What Being A NASCAR Fan Used To Be Like

I don’t know if it’s the passing of the years or the consuming of beers, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how different it is to be a NASCAR fan than it was decades ago when I first became interested in the sport. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, personal obligations forced me to miss most of the Nationwide race from Watkins Glen. But once I finished up doing what needed doing, I wanted to find out who had won the race -- and if the carnage that marked the opening laps had continued all afternoon. Well, all it took was a few brief key strokes and I was able to find out Marcos Ambrose had won, watched a brief video of his post-race comments, checked out the final finishing order, and reviewed a near lap by lap recount of the race.

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Five Tracks the Sprint Cup Series Won’t Visit Soon… But Darned Well Should

Well, the 2009 schedule is up, and with the date shifting that was done attendance may well go up for some races -- but numerous other issues were left unresolved. The Labor Day weekend race is still not back at Darlington -- though I’ll admit having that race at Atlanta instead of Fontana is a significant improvement both in terms of location and of on-track product (assuming Goodyear does its job). Fontana still has two race dates (too many), and the Chase for the Cup still does not have a road course in its 10 races. But most disappointing of all -- at least for me -- the Cup Series will tackle no new venues in 2009. Like so many other NASCAR writers out there, whenever the news starts talking schedule I start fantasizing about tracks I’d love to see the Sprint Cup Series tackle -- so this week, I offer up five tracks I really wish the Cup Series would visit. Attendance, facility, practicality, etc., are of no concern here.

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Fanning the Flames: Full Moon Fever Sweeps NASCAR Nation

*Q: My God, just what we need: another pathetic race at Kansas Speedway, the monkey's who run NASCAR are putting a worse and worse show together, but that's OK since the real racing (IndyCar) is gaining momentum and will feed off the moronic decisions of the woefully inbred France family and the idiots such as “Walrus” Helton, etc.* *A:* Yeah, Tony George is building a ton of momentum for his open wheel boys and girls by getting the series downgraded to the Vs. Channel. All the while, “Inbred Brian and the Walrus” continue to roll in the network and advertising dollars as TV ratings rise once again. Look, I don’t agree with or pretend to understand some (read: most) of the decisions made by the fendered brass in Daytona, but the microscope they’re under is enormous and sometimes we tend to pile on a bit too much.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Is Someone Else Worth Picking Over Kyle Busch And Carl Edwards At Bristol?

The toughest ticket in NASCAR. Jet fighters in a gymnasium. Bristol has been nicknamed many things; but when it comes your fantasy team, it's likely been called something we can't print on this page in front of you. Indeed, Saturday night's 500-lapper is the one race left you're cursing out on your schedule, almost as much of a crapshoot for fantasy players as Talladega or Daytona. With cars lapping the track in just over 15 seconds, it is very easy for a driver to get caught up in someone else’s problem; and the danger is even greater now that the track has been resurfaced and there are multiple racing grooves. With so many driver's success or failure dependent on luck, this speedway is bound to offer you more questions than answers heading into the weekend. Will Kyle Busch continue his winning ways? Can Carl Edwards win the night race at Bristol again? Is Tony Stewart finally going to break the winless streak? Can Dale Earnhardt, Jr. avoid another pit road issue? Will Jamie McMurray continue his run of strong finishes? Only this week’s Picks ‘N’ Pans will tell you which guys you should keep on your roster and which ones should be riding the bench after spending half the night with crumpled sheet metal in the garage.

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