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NASCAR News for Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Buskirk Expected to Return at Martinsville Kevin Buskirk, crew chief for the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 19 Dodge Charger of Elliott Sadler, is expected to return to his pit box this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 following a battle with a stomach bug he acquired …

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Did You Notice? Earnhardt’s Free Pass, Busch’s Less Than Intimidating Nature, And Mourning NASCAR’s Past

*Did You Notice?* … Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s been getting rather "lucky" these days? Just 19th in points after five races, so much talk has centered around the No. 88 team struggling to get it together. Some feel like they’ve turned the corner towards respectability in recent weeks … but I’m not so sure. A quick look at the Free Pass statistics tells you all you need to know about his season. With six free passes used in four races, Junior’s needed help to get put in position to finish even as high as he has. And whatever you think the problem is, the facts speak volumes for a four car Hendrick organization that prides itself on a top 5 finish being a disappointment. Junior hasn’t even had one of those since Martinsville last Fall, where he wound up second to Jimmie Johnson; and at this point, it's been over eight months since he was the top-performing HMS car in a race (Coke Zero 400 - July 2008).

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Racing The Way It Used To Be: NASCAR Short Tracks Still Exist – If Barely

I am going to focus on what used to be one of the most anticipated times of the year, NASCAR’s short track season. Back when I first started really getting into the sport, four of the greatest and most storied tracks — Darlington, Bristol, North Wilkesboro and Martinsville — would follow one another. It was short track action that looked the same then as it did 20 or 30 years earlier. Darlington is not a short track of course, and has but one date now that resides in early May, while Wilkesboro has since been relegated to little more than a weed farm and termite Valhalla. Bristol and Martinsville remain, but the racing has not been the same at these tracks of late. So what gives?

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Mirror Driving: Final Thoughts On The New Bristol And Digesting The New Top 35

*It's clear that 18 months after repaving, this isn't the same old Bristol. That's led to some mixed reviews from fans -- but is the new Bristol a classic or a total flop?* Amy: Personally, I like it. Fewer wrecks… but still some good passing. Mike N.: Most of the fans I have talked to are not liking it at all … but I personally like the new Bristol. I find it to be better racing with actual passing instead of bumping people out of the way.

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Frontstretch Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Food City 500 at Bristol

Frontstretch Power Rankings
The fastest half-mile in the world at Bristol battered many of Cup's top contenders and spit them out. Bad luck struck more than one competitor, most notably Greg Biffle, causing mechanical problems which dropped him out of the top 15 in our power rankings. But every driver's pain is someone else's gain, and when the dust settled from Thunder Valley there were plenty of familiar faces still on top. Kyle Busch’s win moved him up three spots in the standings ... but was it enough to knock Jeff Gordon off the top perch? Meanwhile, both men received a challenge from Jimmie Johnson, whose surprising third place success at Bristol left him ready for an assault on the top 5 heading into a track at Martinsville he owns over the last few years.

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Full Throttle: Bristol And The New Car Not Pleasing The Casual Fan

The race this past weekend was a showcase of what racing should be all about. A short track with cars in close quarters running side by side, multiple racing grooves, different pit strategies coming into play, all with only nine caution flags. For a fan of racing, it was all …

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NASCAR News for Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Front Row Motorsports to Run Full Season SceneDaily is reporting that Front Row Motorsports is planning on running their No. 34 Chevrolet for the full season. To that end, the team has hired Steve Lane as the full time crew chief. Lane was the crew chief farmed out to Front …

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Roush Fenway Racing – 2009 Spring Martinsville Advance

Martinsville Driver/Sponsor Line up… NASCAR Sprint Cup Series David Ragan – No. 6 UPS Ford Greg Biffle – No. 16 3M Ford Matt Kenseth – No. 17 DEWALT Ford Jamie McMurray – No. 26 Irwin Ford Carl Edwards – No. 99 Aflac Ford NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Colin Braun …

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Taking It To The Next Level: Which of These 10 Drivers Will Win a Sprint Cup Championship?

The label of future Sprint Cup champion is liberally dispensed -- but rarely achieved. In the 60 years of NASCAR competition, only 28 drivers have attained the hallowed crown -- and it’s a pretty exclusive club. Twelve drivers have won a solitary championship, while another eight have won two titles. Five men – Jimmie Johnson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, David Pearson, and Lee Petty – have won three; Jeff Gordon owns four, while both The King and The Intimidator won a record seven apiece. So, it’s fair to say the odds of becoming a Sprint Cup Champion are extremely slim (think, paper thin) and with the Chase format and the increasing number of competitive teams, it’s arguable that it’s harder than ever to win the lot. With that level of complexity in mind, I’m going to pick a number of current drivers and analyze their chances of winning a Sprint Cup Championship at some point in the near (or far) future.

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