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NASCAR Top News for Friday, February 6, 2009

Waltrip Mulling Retirement Following 2009 Season Michael Waltrip, driver of the No. 55 Toyota and owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been quoted more than once in Daytona that he is thinking about retiring at the end of 2009 if he is not competitive in the No. 55. “I want …

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In Case You Missed It: Friday, February 6, 2009

MSRP Motorsports To Field Two Nationwide Teams MSRP Motorsports, sister company of Prism Motorsports owned by Phil Parsons, has announced it will be fielding two teams in the Nationwide Series in 2009. Parsons has admitted that the teams will be mostly start and park for the beginning of the season, but …

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Frontstretch Folio: 2009 Bud Shootout at Daytona

Select Sprint Cup competitors head to World Center of Racing this weekend for an exhibition event at the Daytona International Speedway. The Bud Shootout will be broadcast live on Saturday, February 7, 2009, at 8:00 PM EST on FOX, with radio coverage by MRN affiliates nationwide. Competitors will make 75 …

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Good Racing… A Cure For The Economic Blues

Well, the call-to-arms has been sounded by our Editor-in-Chief to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the business of big time NASCAR journalism again... or something to that effect. In other words, with the Budweiser Shootout only two days away and the Great American Race -- the Daytona 500 -- slated to kick off the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season a week from Sunday, it is time to get busy informing, opining, and debating the most popular form of motorsports entertainment in America once more. In years past, I would be biting at the bits to kickoff the new season of Turn 5, rejuvenated from the offseason break. Yet, as this season approaches, I would be less than honest with my readers if I said that I feel the same level of anticipation and excitement that I have always experienced during my 40 years of following stock car racing.

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Relax! The Ever Benevolent NASCAR Has Everything Under Control… Or Do They?

While NASCAR’s CEO Brian France has been accused of being many things, no one can say that he -- and the many minions that surround him -- are lazy. After all, running a profit mill, saving the economy, making our skies safer, and adding to the problem of global warming every time he opens his mouth is a full-time job! As Brian said himself last Fall… “Running the sport from a policy standpoint and interacting with our partners to make sure we are doing everything we can, that really happens during the week. So if you saw me every day, that wouldn’t — that’s not going to change what happens Monday through Friday. That’s when you really need to see me. And it’s impossible for you to see me.”

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Fanning the Flames: The Lights Of The Pace Car Are Off On 2009

Didn’t we talk just, like, two Thursdays ago? Has it actually been over two months since Thanksgiving? Is the Christmas season really over a month gone in our rear-view mirror? Was that the Arizona Cardinals I saw in the Super Bowl?! And, as great of a driver as he may be, is Jimmie Johnson not the clumsiest dude you’ve ever seen? That makes two offseasons in a row, you know... These are the questions I ask you. Now, it’s time for us — this grateful writer and you, the NASCAR fan — do rehash our annual talk. _Fanning the Flames_ was created to provide you an outlet to ask questions, voice concerns, and blow off a little steam. In short, this is your column as much as it is mine (I just format it on Wednesday nights). Without your input, this column no longer exists.

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So This Is What It Sounds Like… When Buds Cry

Is it just me, or is there just a general malaise and “blah” feeling surrounding everything as of late? See, I have an excuse. I live in Michigan – where hope goes to die. There is snow, slush, ice, wind, and cold for half of the year, and this year is on track to be the worst winter ever. That -- combined with the most embarrassing football team in the history of organized athletics, along with an unemployment rate nearing 11% in a state that is heavily dependent on the auto industry -- the cause for celebrations here are often few and far between.

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Hoping For Some NASCAR Give And Take In 2009

Dear NASCAR Faithful, The offseason is over, and I can’t wait! What a refreshing change from the past few years; it’s amazing what a couple of weeks off not having to cover test after test in December and January will do for your tired soul. After a disappointing year, the worst thing to happen when the racing doesn’t match the hype is to have it hammered into your head day in, day out. And while some fans still complain about your precipitous decline the past few years … I know there’s a lot more who actually started to miss you for the first time in recent memory.

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Mirror Driving: Auctioning Off Daytona, Bud Shootout Blues, And Playing Cupid With Crew Chiefs

*Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, and Casey Mears are among the drivers getting new crew chiefs this year. Which pair works out best?* Kurt: Jamie and Donnie Wingo come to mind, but I don't know yet. Vito: Matt Kenseth and Drew Blickensderfer for the win. Amy: I agree there, Vito. Although I really, really wanted to see Wingo go to the No. 07. Beth: Kenseth will probably come out on top in this one.

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Top Ten Things I Would Like To See Happen In NASCAR in 2009

*10.* Jimmie Johnson wins the now totally worthless Bud Shootout, is crowned 2009 Cup Champion after the race, and Brian France cancels the rest of the meaningless season in his _ultimate_ plan to cut costs for the rest of the teams. *9.* The rest of the world finally realizes that I am right and recognizes NASCAR for what it has become -- IROC, with a lot of non-champions. *8.* Mark Martin kicks Jimmie Johnson’s ass! On the track and off!

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