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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona Edition

Considering the fact that a points-paying race has not yet taken place, gauging the true momentum of drivers and teams is a bit more of a daunting task than it is between races. So much flux and change has occurred in the garages of all three of NASCAR’s top series this offseason, mainly because of the changes teams had to make because of the economy. That constant team and driver upheaval in the garage has left many organizations with a completely different makeup than last year, also opening up new spots for some new startup teams to try and entrench themselves as parts of the weekly NASCAR circus. While their presence is welcomed, it makes the ability to pinpoint their progress more difficult than ever. Following Saturday’s Bud Shootout and Sunday’s qualifying session, some drivers and teams have already begun to stand out as possible contenders and definite holders of momentum -- while others already have chinks in their armor before they can even get a donut on the driver’s side door. Here is this week’s list of Hot, Warm and Cold drivers...

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Side by Side: Should The Champion’s Provisional Be Dropped?

_Editor's Note : The following is a special edition of Frontstretch's Side By Side. Occasionally throughout the season, two of your favorite Frontstretch writers will duke it out in a debate concerning one of NASCAR's biggest stories. Don't let us be the only ones to speak our minds, though...be sure to read both sides and let us know what you think about the situation in the comment section below!_ *Today's Question : With the Daytona 500 the equivalent to NASCAR's "Super Bowl," should they automatically save a spot for a former champion who can't qualify into the field any other way? Or should the rule be relaxed and another, faster driver installed in their place?*.

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Talking NASCAR TV: Verizon Uses FOX To Work Around Sponsorship Ban

Well, we’re through pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the Budweiser Shootout. As your TV critic, it is my duty to look everything over and pass some judgment on it; and starting this week and throughout all of 2009, I plan on doing just that. With the departure of the Daly Planet from the NASCAR scene last week (see Matt McLaughlin's "column":https://frontstretch.com/mmclaughlin/22292/ for more), this column remains one of a select few that touches on television's role with NASCAR -- and I’ll do my best to meet that challenge head on. As I grow into this role, I hope to be what LeAnne Schreiber is for ESPN, someone that people can come to about their issues with TV coverage and get them addressed (although Schreiber is also on the verge of leaving her post). Of course, my duties are limited to covering just NASCAR TV programming ... but I hope to have the same type of effect.

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Bud Shootout at Daytona

_Welcome to the first 2009 edition of Running Their Mouth! Each week, we'll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel 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 the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Bud Shootout at Daytona International Speedway:_ "The first thing I want to do is thank the fans. Man, if you don't enjoy that... that was some wild racing..."

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NASCAR News for Monday, February 9, 2009

Tire of Tomorrow? According to a report on foxsports.com, Goodyear officials are working to create a new tire for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that they hope will make a limited debut in 2010. Goodyear officials are hoping the wider, taller tire will improve racing in NASCAR’s top series by …

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Numbers Game: 2009 Bud Shootout at Daytona

1 Lap led by Bud Shootout winner Kevin Harvick, the last one. 1 Win in five appearances for Bud Shootout winner Harvick. 1 Number of times winner Harvick led the Bud Shootout Sunday. 1 hour, 31 minutes, 57 seconds Time it took to complete the Bud Shootout. 2 Drivers dropped …

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Six Points to Ponder: 2009 Speedweeks – Week 1 Edition

*Wait and see with Logano* et me preface this by saying that we’ve learned absolutely nothing about the upcoming season from just a few practice sessions and an exhibition race -- but can we not go ahead and crown Joey Logano the future of the sport just yet? Sure, he’s got the credentials, the team, the equipment, and the potential... but let him earn his stripes first. The premature hype surrounding this kid is unbelievable, especially when there are tons of talented young drivers out there -- including the 18-year-old who beat him in Saturday’s ARCA event.

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: 2009 Season Preview

After one of the most economically brutal NASCAR off-seasons in recent history, it’s finally time to start focusing on performances on the stopwatch instead of on the balance sheet. This also spells good news for Professor Lumbis as I get to preview and critique this season’s rookies once again. The 2008 season was not kind to rookie drivers as only one – Sam Hornish Jr. – still has a full time ride in 2009. That success rate, or lack thereof, may have owners changing the way they think about who will give them the best chance of success behind the wheel. Instead of reaching out to the open wheel talents of other series, general managers are instead opting for stock car veterans to pilot their machines. The result is a much smaller rookie class this season, as only two drivers will compete full time for the Rookie of the Year Award while a handful of others will make spot starts throughout the next several months.

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Five Feel Good Stories Giving The Great American Race An Unexpected Boost

Heading into Speedweeks, Martin Truex, Jr.’s No. 1 on the side of his Chevy was synonymous with the one piece left alone from a desperation merger. Now, that “1” stands for something far more exciting -- Daytona 500 pole sitter -- closing out a weekend that’s given hope to people looking for some different faces up front next Sunday. “The guys felt good about this all winter,” Truex said after pulling what had to be labeled a minor upset. “They’ve felt like they’ve had a shot at coming down here and sitting on the front row for the 500. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to sit in that seat and drive that thing.”

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