Recent Posts

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In Sprint Cup: 2008 Daytona 500 Edition

For three months the anticipation built up in preparation for the 50th running of the Daytona 500, all the way up until the green flag flew over 43 of the world's best drivers to kick off the 2008 season Sunday afternoon. The expected Hendrick Motorsports dominance was overshadowed by the success of Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota with *Tony Stewart*, *Kyle Busch* and *Denny Hamlin* each taking turns at the front of the field while only one Hendrick car finished in the Top 25. As the closing laps came winding down, it was two drivers who hadn't necessarily been contenders for the majority of the race who teamed up for a 1-2 finish. The Penske cars of *Kurt Busch* and *Ryan Newman* are obviously two of the hottest cars coming out of Daytona, but who else is satisfied with their performance in the Great American Race? Who is already behind the 8-ball after just one race? Come in and find out in this week's edition of Who's/ Who's Not in Sprint Cup.

Read More »

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Daytona 500

"It's awesome. It's probably one of the most awesome things that's ever happened to me. To understand all the history of NASCAR, of racing in general, you know, the drivers meeting, to be looking face to face with all the guys, the greats that were on stage up there, and now to be part of one of those guys and part of that team, it's just awesome. Kurt [Busch] was the push from heaven that made it all happen. I have to thank Kurt first and foremost." _Ryan Newman_ "To give my teammate a shot and to push him victory makes me feel like we won this thing as well right along with him. We had to work our way to the front and then we got caught speeding on pit road. This is just a team effort and I'm really happy for this Miller Lite Dodge." _Kurt Busch, finished 2nd_

Read More »

Numbers Game: 2008 Daytona 500

*0.092* Ryan Newman's margin of victory over Kurt Busch in the Daytona 500. (in seconds) *1st* Coors Light Pole of 2008 for Jimmie Johnson after taking the top starting spot in Daytona, with a speed of 187.075 mph. It was the 14th of his career and second at Daytona. *3* Cars dropped to the rear of the field before the start of racing at Daytona. (No. 26 - Jamie McMurray and No. 40 - Dario Franchitti for using back-up cars, No. 78 - Joe Nemechek for missing drivers introductions)

Read More »

Frontstretch 4Play Standings: 2008 Daytona 500

No. Team Name Wk 1 Wk 2 Total 1 Texas Tornadoes 594   594 2 jelenracing 586   586 3 GORDON24KTN08 579   579 4 Alltel Racing 573   573 5 Ren’s Fantasy Motorsports 573   573 6 southern gentleman racing 570   570 7 Kim’s Team 563   563 …

Read More »

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: Daytona 500

*The Key Moment:* Kurt Busch stuck to Ryan Newman's rear bumper on the final lap as the Dodge boys repelled the Toyota invasion. *In a Nutshell:* Tony Stewart might have landed a cheap shot on Kurt Busch in the trailer, but Busch got the last laugh, pushing Newman to a win over the clearly faster car of Stewart. *Dramatic Moment:* You sort of knew those last ten laps were going to get ugly... and they were all of that. *What They'll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week* All week, *it seemed that the battle was between the Joe Gibbs Toyotas and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.* in his new ride at Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt took the Shootout and his 150, while the Gibbs drivers took the other 150 and the Busch … er, Nationwide race. The media, myself included, thought one team or the other was sure to take the big prize. Well, I guess that's why they run races on the track -- and not in the newspapers or on the Internet. Congrats to Newman, Busch, and the whole Penske organization on the "surprise" win.

Read More »

Bowles-Eye View: Stewart’s Daytona Near Misses Inching Him Ever Closer To Earnhardt

As Tony Stewart sulked Sunday at Daytona - wondering when and how his latest opportunity slipped away - I could only help but think of his connection to a legend. That connection, to me, is more palpable than ever now. Perhaps it was because of the historical nature of the day; that as the notes reached a crescendo at the end of the Brooks ‘N' Dunn concert, the black No. 3 car Dale Earnhardt drove to Victory Lane in 1998 was revealed -- surrounded by an adoring crowd which stood in awe of the spirit before them. No doubt, the presence of Earnhardt within the context of Daytona history brought back memories; it appeared even Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was choked up after the FOX television crew reminisced about the victory the Intimidator achieved after 19 years of trying, the one which cemented his legendary status within a sport he once dominated. But as Stewart comes to terms with another disappointment, you have to wonder if he's on his way to matching that hapless 0-for achievement. The man best compared to the Intimidator by the way he conducts himself on and off the track has done his best to work his way up onto the sport's biggest stage; but in the end, Stewart's continued absence from the winner's list is now clearly defined with the late legend whose pain he shares - and whose list of failures are becoming agonizingly similar.

Read More »

Ten Points To Ponder: After the 2008 Daytona 500

*1. Well … Isn't That Just Super? -* The Daytona 500 is often referred to as NASCAR's equivalent of the NFL's Super Bowl. Well, the Patriots - Giants game, held two weeks ago, was an exciting and well-played contest in its own right; and, with a Cinderella finish to boot. I just thought it was appropriate to mention here, because while I like the New York Giants, Ryan Newman and the Penske Dodges were just as big of an underdog, overcoming the odds for a surprise victory in Sprint Cup. It's clear that in terms of entertainment value, both the NFL and NASCAR appear to have delivered in the past month or so. *2. Was It Just A Hunch? -* Those NASCAR PR guys are slick; did you catch the NASCAR promo shortly after the opening laps as FOX went to break with Jeff Gordon exclaiming that, "Hey, I like the way this is looking." And that happened not long after he had taken the lead, either! How did those guys know?

Read More »

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Hornish is Heroic at Daytona

*Rookies in the Starting Lineup:* Sam Hornish, Jr. (19th), Regan Smith (29th), Dario Franchitti (40th) *Unofficial Finishing Positions:* Sam Hornish, Jr. (15th), Dario Franchitti (33rd), Regan Smith (37th) *Rookie of the Race: Sam Hornish, Jr.* Most of the NASCAR world will say that Penske Racing had its most successful run in team history during Sunday's Daytona 500 based on the one-two finish of Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch. It should not be overlooked however, that all three Penske teams came home in the Top 15, as Sam Hornish, Jr. was the surprise top rookie, finisher. Hornish caught everyone's attention within the first 25 laps of the race when he muscled his No. 77 Charger into the Top 10. It appeared that the rookie was out to show his veteran competitors that he was for real by keeping his Mobile One Dodge in or near the lead pack for most of the day and staying out of trouble…well, almost. On lap 148, Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet came down into Hornish's car, sending the defending Sprint Cup champion into the spin cycle. The rookie was able to continue on with little damage however, en route to a 15th place finish.

Read More »

Bubble Breakdown: Vickers Shines While Digging Out Of Top 35 Hole…Wood Brothers Dig Themselves In Deeper

All week, it looked like a battle between Joe Gibbs' Toyotas and Rick Hendrick's Chevrolets at this year's Daytona 500; but with a last lap surprise, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, and Roger Penske came out of nowhere to score a major 1-2 upset in the Great American Race for Dodge. There were a lot of surprises when it came to the Top 35, too. Early results are in, and there are some "locked in" teams that will find themselves digging out of a hole in the next four races to work on keeping their status. Not only that, but teams outside the Top 35 started working hard to change that disadvantage for race six of this season -- when the current owner points for 2008 will be used and allow them to sneak back into the race lineup. So, without further ado let's check out our Top 35 results for this week -- we'll start with some of those cars "locked in" but a little nervous about how it's going to go this next month or two: Ganassi Racing's No. 40 car with *Dario Franchitti* came in 33rd, a devastating finish for them on a track where Franchitti should particularly be successful. With Franchitti's rookie status intact for the year, this program needs to improve their equipment to keep the team inside the bubble -- plain and simple.

Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Camping World 300 at Daytona

*In A Nutshell* The season is new. The series' title sponsor is new. Many of the rules are new. The results, however, were not. The NASCAR Nationwide Series remained "Cup Light" in its opening race, with Tony Stewart taking the checkered flag as one of nine Sprint Cup regulars to finish in the Top 10 in Saturday's Camping World 300. Stewart, the first pole-sitter to win the race in over two decades, showcased Toyota's newfound horsepower convincingly, proving absolutely impossible to pass over the last third of the race. Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Martin Truex, Jr. and Brian Vickers all mounted furious charges, but no one had enough steam to pass Stewart's No. 20. "This Toyota was unreal," said an ecstatic Stewart in victory lane after leading 46 of 120 laps.

Read More »