NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2012 Food City 500 at Bristol

NASCAR opened the drivers’ meeting to race fans at Las Vegas, and while it gave those fans a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes, many drivers think NASCAR took this one one step too far. The intent of the meeting – to go over safety information or rules updates for the upcoming race, to give a few necessary warnings, and for teams to air any questions they have has become more of a media circus in recent years, where more time is spent on introducing celebrities in attendance than on making sure the teams understand their race procedures. Is it time to return to the days when only drivers and crew chiefs are privy to the meeting?

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

For a team whose very existence was in serious doubt just a year ago, Richard Petty Motorsports showed flashes of a much brighter future at Charlotte. Both Marcos Ambrose (fifth) and AJ Allmendinger (seventh) posted top-10 results, while Allmendinger wasn’t too far away from contending for a Chase berth this year. Ambrose won his first Cup race as well this year, while AJ has been close – the No. 43 team may also win a consolation prize of 13th position in points. The consistency isn’t quite there to call them 2012 Chase contenders so early, but they have steadily improved… and beat some bigger, more established teams in the process.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: A Lot at Stake for 6 (Other) Drivers to Watch at Homestead

There is a report circulating at Homestead-Miami Speedway that has taken many people by surprise. It’s not really earth-shattering, yet it seems to have crept up on the racing public. In fact many people seem to not have heard it at all. There are going to be 43 drivers in the race on Sunday. Yeah, …

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Fantasy Insider: Jeff Gordon Must Win to Keep Streak Alive

It doesn’t get a whole lot safer than Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon at Homestead-Miami. Since reconfiguring the track, Gordon has finished in the top nine in all but one event, despite the 1.5-mile oval being the lone track we visit on the Cup circuit where he hasn’t won.

Fantasy Insider: Phoenix Couldn’t Come at a Better Time for J.J. & Mears?

NASCAR heads west one last time this weekend when they go to the Arizona dessert for this weekend’s main event in Phoenix. And this race couldn’t come at a better time for Jimmie Johnson as he’s owned the flat tri-oval for quite sometime, while Denny Hamlin has been less than stellar at the 1-mile venue. …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Casey Mears on the Hardest Thing He’s Ever Done

The best word to describe Casey Mears’s Sprint Cup career is “roller coaster.” To say it’s been a wild ride for the 32-year-old Bakersfield, Calif. native is an understatement, moving from job to job at Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing before getting what appeared to be a final pink slip at …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Start & Parks Deserve Sympathy & Admiration, Not Derision

You see it every week now in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series: less than halfway through the race, a seemingly undamaged car pulls into the garage and the team packs up and heads home early. The results sheet shows an electrical or brake failure, and the owner collects a backmarker paycheck. It’s a …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2010 Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta

It’s not often that you see the series champion getting my praise, but this week that’s exactly what’s happening. Jimmie Johnson took home a third place, and while that’s not something that Johnson really needs to write home about, it’s his best finish since he won at Loudon in June. In that seven-race stretch, Johnson earned only one top-10 finish and finished outside of the top 25 three times. He might be the first driver to get my shoutout for simply not blowing it… again.

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