NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Breaking the Rules Just Ain’t What It Used To Be

Following an on-track incident at the Busch Series race in Montreal last week, NASCAR placed Robby Gordon on probation. In itself, the action was both warranted and consistent with past incidents. However, what followed was not. In their press release, NASCAR noted that should Gordon partake in any other rules infraction “that is deemed by NASCAR officials as detrimental to stock car racing or to NASCAR, or is disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, he will be suspended indefinitely from NASCAR.” I mistakenly took that to mean that a driver in violation of a NASCAR-imposed probation would receive heavy punishment. Obviously, I was wrong.

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Still Good on Dirt

We’ve run two more races since the last diary, and these were pretty good races for our Power Stroke Diesel Team. We had a top-five finish at ORP, in the Power Stroke Diesel 200, and we just got finished with a top-10 run, a sixth-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway. We had a good run for Circle Bar Racing, David Starr and myself, with the International Maxx Force Diesel by International and the Power Stroke Diesel by International both in the top 10. The No. 10 and the No. 14 truck have been competitive, and we’ve had a good couple of weeks.

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Toyota Looking for Back-to-Back Championships

In 2000, Toyota ventured into the big sea of NASCAR racing; first dipping their toes in the water in the Goody’s Dash Series. Robert Huffman delivered their first win the following year, and scored their first championship in 2003. The manufacturer entered the Craftsman Truck Series beginning with the 2004 season. Just two years later, Todd Bodine drove Toyota to their first truck series championship in 2006. Now, with just 10 races remaining in the 2007 season, Toyota is looking at the very strong possibility of back-to-back championships.

That’s History Profile: Benny Parsons

Benny Parsons was born in Ellerbe, N.C., on July 12th, 1941 – a small town just north of Rockingham. After growing up in the South throughout his childhood, Parsons actually made his first career choice around a profession that had nothing to do with racing – but driving an automobile nonetheless. Making a move up north to Detroit in 1960, Parsons relocated to where his father ran a taxi cab garage. That’s where the youngster spent the remainder of his young adult years… learning how to drive not through the local dirt track, but by dropping passenger after passenger off at their destination as a cab driver.

Beyond the Cockpit: David Reutimann at the 2007 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

David Reutimann knows all too well what it feels like to be on a roller coaster. The first-year driver from Michael Waltrip Racing has experienced the ups and downs of Nextel Cup racing harder than most everyone this year, going through the nerve-wracking procedure each Friday of attempting to qualify for races on time… not provisionals. When Reutimann HAS cracked the starting field, he’s had to deal with the gremlins of mechanical failure and rookie mistakes, all of which have taken their toll on a new Toyota team working hard to catch up to the rest of the pack. But having made six consecutive races on speed (PJ Jones drove the No. 00 at Watkins Glen), it’s clear the Burger King Camry is heading in the right direction – and a lot of that has to do with the way one of NASCAR’s brightest future talents has conducted himself behind the wheel.

Voices from the Heartland: Simple Solutions for the New “Cingular” Logo Problem

It has often been said that I tend to see things a bit differently in comparison to most folks who call themselves normal. I do not consider that to be an insult, but more like a badge of honor, and it may, quite possibly, be the reason I like myself so much. Take this continuing stupid lawsuit nonsense concerning Cingular/AT&T and NASCAR/Nextel for example. In a nutshell, it goes something like this (for those casual fans that are just tuning in).

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2007 3M Performance 400 at Michigan Edition

The series heads to Michigan this weekend for the second of the series’ two visits on the year – and hopefully, your fantasy team is scorching like the late summer heat. Just four races remain until the end of the regular season, and just like the excitement surrounding the Chase, the battle in many leagues is at a fever pitch. Are you in Kurt Busch’s shoes, holding on to a tenuous lead while others battle to knock you down from a spot in the money? Or are you like Dale Earnhardt Jr., a driver in need of some solid finishes – and more importantly, luck – to work your way back into contention?

Thompson in Turn 5: Denny Hamlin Not Necessarily the 3rd Wheel Now at Joe Gibbs Racing

The one guy in the entire hubbub involving Kyle Busch’s move rarely mentioned is the third driver in the Gibbs stable, Denny Hamlin. It is apparently just assumed that though Hamlin is in only his second full year in the big leagues, he will not be deterred by the arrival of Busch and will merely continue to perform at the exceptional level that he has since his arrival in Cup racing.

Mirror Driving: Juan Pablo Montoya the Bully, Bonus Points, Silly! & Why No One’s Watching TV

Kevin Harvick refused to back off comments about Juan Pablo Montoya’s aggressive driving after Sunday’s race, wreck… and fight. Is this the first of a long line of drivers we’ll see standing up to the Colombian, or was Harvick out of line for what he said? How long do you think we’ll see this rivalry linger?

Voice of Vito: Kyle Busch Giving 110% for a Great Opportunity & Other Favorite Cliches

In recent years, however, as the “sport” has grown, a new term has emerged to describe our beloved pastime: “business”. As unsavory as that might sound, racing exists because of sponsors, and our favorite drivers and car manufacturers are indeed pitchmen and very loud, very fast billboards. With this “business” aspect comes some of the cliches that accompany corporate America as well. I was reminded of this a number of times during Kyle Busch’s announcement that he will join Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008, as driver of the No. 18 machines fielded by Coach Gibbs and Co.

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