NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Nextel Cup: 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen Edition

This weekend’s race featured a spin to win, two drivers putting in their NASCAR best effort to pull each other’s hair out after a wreck, and a crazed fan making his way onto the track during a red flag… just to ask for an autograph. Makes it sound like an August Cup race at Bristol, doesn’t it? But instead, this was what transpired from what began as a tranquil Sunday afternoon in western New York. Shocked? So were many of the fans who watched this year’s edition of the Centurion Boats at the Glen. But they weren’t the only ones happy to see a surprising series of twists and turns that matched the road course’s 2.45-mile layout. Perhaps the biggest smile on the day came from stunned race winner Tony Stewart, who inherited the top spot as NASCAR’s winningest road racer, Jeff Gordon, spun in turn 1 with just two laps to go, relinquishing the lead and 10 bonus points to his longtime rival in the process.

Full Throttle: Go or Go Home Cars Qualifying Together? It’s About Time

This past weekend, qualifying for Sunday’s Centurion at the Glen was rained out on Friday, forcing several part-time teams to load their cars back onto their transporters without any type of opportunity to make the race. With the amount of money and effort the teams that battling for the last eight spots in the starting field have put forth just to get to the track, such a haphazard solution hardly seemed fair. Just ask part-time competitor and fan phenomenon Boris Said about the issue.

Numbers Game: 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen

0 – Autographs signed while racing the Centurion Boats at the Glen. During the red flag period for the Kevin Harvick/Juan Pablo Montoya incident, a fan came out on the track to ask Matt Kenseth for his John Hancock. Claiming he was a “little busy,” Kenseth refused – as the fan was quickly arrested and dragged off by security.

Bowles-Eye View: Montoya the Madman or Harvick the Hothead? Either Way, Just What NASCAR Needs

Truth be told, the last 20 laps of Nextel Cup’s annual visit to the Glen was filled with enough raw emotion to fill a two-hour Lifetime movie – a refreshing break from the wave of political correctness and sponsor soliloquies that have defined the sport over the past few years. But while Jeff Gordon’s fall from grace and Matt Kenseth’s comedic interlude with a crazed fan were some of the more notable experiences on the afternoon, nothing compared to the in-your-face screamfest turned shoving match in the center of turn 1. There, Kevin Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya worked out some personal differences in the most public of settings, all while their cars leaked out fluids and the frustration of missed opportunity behind a wreck neither one appeared to be at fault for starting.

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen

1. Exasperated with ESPN – I have heard very few positive comments about ESPN’s NASCAR coverage since they took over the race broadcasts after a seven-year absence. But today’s post-race “coverage” was abysmal, showing just two driver interviews (Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon) before switching to SportsCenter and its seemingly endless coverage of baseball and football. Despite promising race fans that they would return to the Glen for more post-race coverage during SportsCenter, they simply replayed the same interviews that had already aired. Completely unacceptable.

Bubble Breakdown: Wood Brothers Racing Benefits From NASCAR’s Stubbornness

One day after rain washed out qualifying sending road-course ace Boris Said and the No. 60 SoBe No Fear Racing team home, Bill Elliott generously offered his Wood Brothers seat to Said in an effort to move the No. 21 car back into the Top 35. It was the second straight race in a span of two months that Said was not even given the opportunity to qualify for the event because of mother nature, NASCAR’s pitiful Top 35 rule and lack of effort to alter the schedule to fit in qualifying. Although he got a ride in the end Said wasn’t afraid to voice his frustrations about what NASCAR’s ruling did to his good friend and car owner Mark Simo. “For a part-time team, you don’t get to race that much, and two races in a row get taken away. I don’t understand why the schedule can’t be adjusted and just qualify tomorrow when it’s going to be sunny,” he said. “It’s just hard for a small team. It pretty much puts us out of business. It puts me out of business. It’s just a lot of income lost.”

Nextel Cup Rookie Report: 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen Edition

It was definitely an up and down day for Canada’s favorite road course driver as Ron Fellows was tapped by Hall of Fame Racing to drive their entry for the second time this year. Starting back in the 26th position by virtue of team owner points, Fellows methodically moved his way up to 12th place just before the race’s halfway point. This would not be the first time that the road-course ringer would have to fight through the pack. Due to the varying pit strategies that were employed by different teams, the DLP HDTV Chevy was mired back in 22nd place with only 30 laps to go. What might have seemed like a recipe for disaster actually proved to be the perfect combination for an exciting finish as Fellow sliced through the field and engaged in an excited duel with Robby Gordon in the closing laps. Using years of experience while taking advantage of the misfortune of others, the Canadian driver brought home a fourth-place finish, the third top five of his career.

Tracking the Trucks: 2007 Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville

Travis Kvapil led 47 of the last 48 laps on his way to the checkered flag in the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Kvapil finished 2.403 seconds ahead of the only Chevrolet to break into the top 10, Ron Hornaday Jr. Points leader Mike Skinner finished third with David Starr and Todd Bodine rounding out the top five.

What’s the Call: Can Kyle Busch & Tony Stewart Get Along As Teammates?

Today’s Question: Earlier this week, it was leaked to the press that Kyle Busch will be headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008. With on-track skirmishes and public bad mouthing in the not-so-distant past, can Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart get along as teammates?

That’s History Profile: Tim Richmond

Tim Richmond came into NASCAR reminiscent of the way so many do today. He got his start in open wheel racing by testing a sprint car for a friend and wound up turning laps faster than the regular driver. At the age of 21, that brief test had him hooked and soon after he won the USAC Rookie of the Year in 1978. Two years later he moved to big-time open-wheel racing, competing in the Indianapolis 500 in 1980, finishing ninth after running out of fuel. Driving for car owner DK Ulrich, he would make his NASCAR debut at Pocono later that year — a track where some of his most memorable, yet heartbreaking memories would be made.

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