Race Weekend Central

Mirror Driving: Killing the Competition Caution?, Brainstorming New Sponsors & Jimmie Johnson vs. Denny Hamlin… NOT!

After Sunday’s race, many people were looking for rivalry or animosity between Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson – but didn’t get any. Are people making something out of nothing, or should there have been more emotion out of the drivers?

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta

Four weeks into the season, the top of the Sprint Cup standings are still a long way from getting sorted out. But after everyone got a chance to take a deep breath this past weekend, it’s easy to notice a few trends starting to take shape. Once again, the multi-car giants of Roush, Hendrick and Gibbs sit atop the standings, preparing to be the heavyweights ready to duel once more for the Sprint Cup title. But the drivers leading the charge from each organization aren’t necessarily the ones you would have expected a month ago. Jeff Gordon looks like the Wonderboy of old, Matt Kenseth has the magic of Blickensderfer, while Kyle Busch is getting a push… from his brother? Such has been the rather strange beginning to the 2009 Cup season. To see where your driver sits on the Power Rankings ladder, read on as our experts try and sort out the contenders from the pretenders.

The Yellow Stripe: Catch 21 – Thoughts, Questions & Observations 3 Races Into 2009

21, as many of you will know, is a lucky number in Las Vegas. So, here are exactly that many questions, observations, and thoughts – in no particular order – on the season so far as the series leaves Sin City to head back east.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Edition

The first three races of 2009 have yielded surprising results at the top of the bottom of the points standings. Some drivers, like Mark Martin, are left scratching their head after having fast cars at each race, but no finishes to show for that. Likewise, teams like Michael Waltrip Racing in the top 12 and some of the startup teams near the brink of emergence in the Top 35 are among other early surprises in the points. That being said, here are the best of both this week.

Did You Notice? The Start & Park Scam, NASCAR is a Team Sport & RCR Comes Up Short

Did You Notice? The latest way in which NASCAR’s “locked-in” qualifying rule has spiraled out of control? For the past year plus, MSRP Motorsports has existed in the Nationwide Series for seemingly one goal – to make money. Each week, the team owned by Phil Parsons’s wife, Marcia, and Randy Humphrey trots out two unsponsored Chevrolets, hoping to simply qualify within the field of 43. It’s their only big hurdle to clear each weekend – not so they can compete, but so they can gain the opportunity to park their cars before they’d need to make an actual pit stop. Doing that pockets them as much cash as possible while avoiding costs like a real pit crew, extra sets of tires, etc. In 63 career starts in the series, the team’s No. 90 and No. 91 cars have been running at the finish a total of zero times. That’s right… zero.

Mirror Driving: Auctioning Off Daytona, Bud Shootout Blues & Playing Cupid with Crew Chiefs

Welcome to Mirror Driving. Every week, your favorite columnists sit down and give their opinion about the latest NASCAR news and rumors. Love us or hate us, make a comment below and tell us how you feel about what we’ve said! This Week’s Participants: Vito Pugliese (Wednesdays/Voice of Vito) Beth Lunkenheimer (Tuesdays/Running Your Mouth & Various/Frontstretch Truck …

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Did You Notice? NASCAR Layoffs Still Looming, Testing Hope & Changes at Yates

Did You Notice? A ray of hope in the midst of NASCAR’s testing ban? The logical assumption when the policy was announced was that every one of the sport’s big-time owners would pull out the bulldozers and start building racetracks themselves. But to everyone’s surprise, one of the power players of the “Big Four” – …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Ford 400 at Homestead

After 36 points-paying events, nine months and 14,493 miles of racing, the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is finally in the books. When the smoke cleared at Homestead, it was Jimmie Johnson winning his third consecutive championship, tying Cale Yarborough as the only drivers in history to accomplish that feat. Behind him, Carl Edwards finished …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville

The oldest track on the circuit had its usual beating and banging this weekend; but when the smoke from Martinsville cleared, there was one warrior who stood head and shoulders above everyone else. As a result, the Chase picture appears more focused than ever, as Jimmie Johnson’s dominant performance has most everyone believing he’s got …

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