NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

Running on a smaller budget is usually not indicative of a great finish, but someone forgot to give Marcos Ambrose that memo. Ambrose once again showed his considerable road-racing skill as he was alternately patient and aggressive in his march from the back of the field (where he was relegated after a pre-race engine change) to third at the checkers. If you aren’t impressed, you must have been watching a different race.

Did You Notice? Double Yellow Line Means Ridiculous, Stremme’s Sad Debut & Said’s Big Chance

Did You Notice? The big announcement on Thursday concerning Boris Said? It’s at 10:00 a.m. at the Media Center, and while I’m not yet at liberty to divulge details, rest assured this thing is big. I mean, big with a capital B. For Said, the most important thing is it’s going to give him an opportunity to finally compete a full-season schedule (by 2010) and see how he stacks up against the big boys. For years, he’s wanted a chance to see if his road-racing expertise could translate onto the oval tracks, but no owner or sponsor was willing to take a chance on him for more than a few races a year.

Did You Notice? Junior Stressed Out? Said Rained Out? & Why Did McDowell Pout?

Did You Notice? That Dale Earnhardt Jr. looks a little haggard lately? In virtually every single interview I’ve seen him do over the past two months, Junior’s answers are so slow and meticulously constructed it feels like he’s processing the question in slow motion. I feel like it’s either one of two things – it’s either Junior’s stressed out, or he’s still adjusting a bit in his new role at the more politically correct Hendrick Motorsports.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen

Unlike last weekend at Montreal, Marcos Ambrose did not have the best car in the field. But unlike last weekend, Ambrose capitalized during Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen, scoring his first career NASCAR victory with a win in the Zippo 200. Ambrose ran in the third position for most of the event’s second half, stalking a furious battle between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton that saw both Cup stars forced to pit with less than 10 laps to go for fuel. Ambrose then cruised to an easy win, which also catapulted his No. 59 into the top 10 in Nationwide Series points.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Montreal

Marcos Ambrose led 27 consecutive laps and built an eight-second lead over Max Papis, maintaining the lead even after slipping off course under green. Pit lane, however, snakebit Ambrose and the No. 59. Ambrose nearly spun in the pits while leading, and then received a speeding penalty to boot. That handed the lead to Ron Fellows, who had short-pitted earlier in the event, allowing the native Canadian to lead until the race was finally red-flagged for heavy rain and a lack of visibility. For Fellows, it was his fourth career Nationwide Series win, and the first at any level for him on the Montreal road course named after his racing hero Gilles Villeneuve. Fellow road-ringers Patrick Carpentier and Boris Said scored top-five finishes.

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint 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 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Road Course Leads to Roster Shakeup at Sonoma

Twists and turns, ups and downs, fuel mileage and wine — all will come into play this weekend at Infineon Raceway for the Cup Series. But this weekend’s race filled with left and right turns can really play havoc on fantasy teams where owners are limited to only live drivers and no bench. Road courses can really tax a team who has been running well, but has one or two drivers who are not successful at them. To get the best choices for drivers who will be the prime vintage this weekend, read on to see who the experts chose this week in Picks ‘N’ Pans.

Bowles-Eye View: Road-Course Ringers Running Short On Wins

Max Papis. Brian Simo. Ron Fellows. This weekend, some of the most accomplished road racing veterans will once again descend upon Infineon Raceway in a stock car, looking to translate success from other series into an upset victory on their biannual tour around the Sprint Cup circuit. There’s just one problem; barring a miracle, every single one of them will come up short. But that doesn’t stop the same continuous cycle of hope turned hopeless, as each one embarks on a quest for a rather unlikely trip to the top rung of stock car’s highest ladder – complete with an assist from NASCAR teams willing to hire them. Or are they?

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Corona Mexico 200 at Mexico City

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint 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 Corona 200 at Autodromos Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

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