Recent Posts

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: The One That Got Away

I apologize for taking so long to update my driver diary. This stretch of consecutive races and appearances has kept us pretty busy. Charlotte started with a two day NASCAR test the week before and allowed us time to decide which truck we wanted to use. Kevin "Cowboy" Starland and the Circle Bar crew picked out CB-21, nicknamed Black Jack, which has been the down force workhorse of the Circle Bar camp. The Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International ran decent that day but to me it was just way loose. I steered more to the right than I did to the left but we ended up with a top 10 finish. Anytime you have a bad day (I say it was a bad day) and still end up with a top 10 finish it's OK, but I thought we could be a little bit better.

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David Starr Driver Diary: Going to Graceland

After struggling through growing pains for the first several races so far this season, I finally feel like we are making huge gains. You want to be competitive right off the bat, but the Craftsman Truck Series is so tough that it makes it hard for a new team like the International MaxxForce Diesel team. So while the season hasn't been going the way we had hoped, I feel like we really started turning it around back in Mansfield.

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Driven To The Past: Ricky Craven

At one time, NASCAR was thought of as a sport comprised mainly of drivers from the southeast. In the late 80's and early 1990s, that began to change. Suddenly there was an influx of drivers from the modified and Busch North Series, including driver Ricky Craven. Craven began his career at Unity Raceway in Unity, Maine, where he won Rookie of the Year in 1992, following it up with a 12 win season that saw him earn track championship honors in 1993. From there Ricky would dominate at several tracks in New England before competing in the American-Canadian Tour. Craven, born May 24th, 1966, ironically shares a birthday with Muppet creator Frank Oz, the voice of Yoda from _Star Wars_ who coined the mantra of "There is no 'Try'; only ‘Do'," something Craven has taken to heart.Busch slid high and rode the wall through turn 4, Craven steered his Pontiac Grand Prix to the bottom, and drove up under Busch. As he drifted back up to complete the turn, both cars met, fender to fender, tire to tire, door handle to door handle. Both cars quivered violently back and forth, smoke wafting out of the front fenders as their drivers struggled to keep them pointed in a straight line coming to the checkered flag.

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TNT “F Bomb” Squad Snips Wrong Wire!

The explosion of an "F bomb" at last Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, CA is a prime example of what seemed like a brilliant idea at the time go horribly awry. The idea was to have Kyle Petty be part of the race broadcast team, not from the booth, but actually while he competed in the race itself. Brilliant! So far, so good. This could be really cool. However, not long into the broadcast, a few problems began to manifest themselves. Initially, due to some technical gremlins, booth announcers Wally Dallenbach and Bill Weber were having some difficulty establishing contact with racer / analyst Petty. At one point, once contact was made, they broke in and surprised Kyle while he was leading the team in a pre-race prayer. Oops! But after the initial awkwardness, breaking in on the team prayer could seem like a great thing as far as ratings go.

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What’s The Call: Are The Penalties Against Jeff Gordon And Jimmie Johnson’s Teams Too Severe?

*Today's Question : Earlier this week, NASCAR came down hard on the No. 24 and No. 48 teams for failing pre-race inspection at Infineon Raceway. Due to fenders that fell outside Car Of Tomorrow specifications, the following penalties were given out:* - Crew chiefs Chad Knaus (No. 48) and Steve LeTarte (No. 24) were suspended six weeks and fined $100,000 - Both Gordon and Johnson lost 100 driver points - Both teams lost 100 car owner points - Knaus and LeTarte were placed on probation for the rest of the season *Without question, these are some of the toughest consequences given out in recent NASCAR history. With that in mind, did the sport come down too hard on this one? Or did both teams get exactly what they deserved for breaking the rules?* *Vito Pugliese*: Since when did NASCAR become Roscoe P. Coltrane, issuing ridiculously inflated citations for racers simply trying to do their job? Gordon's team didn't get caught with a big engine, doctored tires, illegal fuel, or God forbid, duct tape by the oil tank. Instead, they had massaged the left front fenders of their DuPont Chevrolet a little too much, in an area they were once permitted to actually have some sort of input into their car. Kathy Grindle: There's no reason to complain about the penalty handed down to the No. 24 and No. 48 teams; in the end, the heavy hand coming down from the NASCAR brass couldn't be more justified. These teams broke the new golden CoT rule of "don't mess with our design," and the sport's simply doing its duty in ensuring that every organization is following the rules.

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Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at Loudon

*2007 New Hampshire "1" Driver Handicaps * *Jeff Gordon* - Gordon has three wins at Loudon, but none since 1998. In fact, his third place finish at NHIS last Fall put to bed a streak of three straight finishes outside of the Top 10. But overall, Gordon has thirteen Top 10s in 24 career starts at this track - and do _you_ want to bet against a Hendrick driver at a CoT event? *Denny Hamlin* - Hamlin finished fourth and sixth here last year as a rookie - and he has done well in the CoT races to date, making him a threat this Sunday. *Matt Kenseth* - While seldom a threat to win, Kenseth does run well here.

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Fanning the Flames: A Confused Writer Has A Question Of His Own For NASCAR

Before we get going with your questions this week, I have a question of my own: *Q:* Dear NASCAR — How does Kurt Busch slam into Tony Stewart's car while on pit road, almost hitting Stewart's jackman in the process, only to walk away with the new standard of a 100-point docking and a $100,000 fine. Meanwhile, Ted Musgrave gives Kelly Bires a pop after a wreck at Milwaukee — while still on the track, mind you, no crewmen anywhere close — and gets docked 50 owner and driver points, 10 G's, _and gets suspended for a race?_ See NASCAR, I'm a little miffed because we, both the media and the fans, spent an entire week arguing whether Kurt should get the ol' heave-ho. Hell, I was even on _your_ side in the matter! Anyway, Kurt — and more importantly Miller Lite — got off without a suspension. If that's the way it is, fine, we accept your ruling. However, two weeks later Musgrave does _half_ of what Kurt did and he's sent packing?! Is this because Kurt is a star in the Cup Series and Musgrave is "only" a Truck Series participant? Please tell me the difference, NASCAR, because for the life of me I can't figure out why you'd throw fuel on the fire of rules (in)consistency.

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2007 Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at Loudon

The Nextel Cup Series heads to the Northeast this weekend to the cozy confines of New Hampshire International Speedway, the 1.058-mile flat track in Loudon, New Hampshire. The eighth Car of Tomorrow race of the season, this weekend up north is likely to send the usual CoT cast of characters near the front of the pack. But pay particular attention to those championship contenders on your fantasy team; those drivers will certainly be focusing their efforts even more keenly on this track this weekend with the Chase in mind. So, who's more likely to enjoy the summer breeze in New England, and who's ready to be swept up in disaster? We have all the fantasy info you need to know in this week's edition of Picks 'N' Pans.

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Frontstretch Folio: 2007 UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas

The Nextel Cup Series heads to "Sin City" this weekend to test their luck at the newly renovated Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 is the third race of the 2007 Nextel Cup season and will be broadcast live on Sunday, March 11th at 4:30 pm ET on Fox, with radio coverage by PRN affiliates nationwide. Competitors will make 267 circuits for 400.5 miles around the mile-and-a-half oval in their quest for the checkered flag.

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Kasey Kahne – No. 9 NNCS Advance – 2007 UAW/Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas

Kasey Kahne No. 9 McDonald’s/Dodge Dealers Dodge Charger Race Facts UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 — Las Vegas Motor Speedway Driver: Kasey Kahne Team Director: Kenny Francis Car Director: Rich Hubbs Engineer: Keith Rodden Team Owner: Ray Evernham Chassis: No. 144 Info: This chassis ran at the Brickyard last season. KASEY KAHNE QUOTES: …

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