Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Edition

Perhaps I’m in the minority on this, but equipment is extremely important in this sport – especially in the lower ranks – and pieces from possibly the Stewart-Haas, Kevin Harvick Inc. or JR Motorsports stables astronomically improves Danica Patrick’s chances of finding victory lane in a stock car in 2010. You see it all the time in ARCA – teams with support from Cup organizations tend to routinely run in the top 10, if not the top five.

Bubble Breakdown: David Stremme, Paul Menard Lead Several Bubble Drivers With Top-20 Finishes

Well pull up a chair kids, we had a major case of musical seats amongst some of our bubble teams that isn’t even over yet and I’m gonna try and explain it all to you. It started when Bobby Labonte who drives for Hall of Fame Racing was taken out of his ride by HoF’s …

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Bubble Breakdown: Top-15 Finish Has Scott Speed in Striking Distance of Top 35

Well bubble fans, it looks like we’re losing one of our bubble dwellers, again. During the week it has been reported that David Stremme will be replaced in the No. 12 Team Penske Dodge by rising star Brad Keselowski in 2010, if not sooner. David was just not getting the job done for Team Penske, …

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2009 Driver Report Cards, Part II: Grading Dale Jr. & The Rest

Continuing on from yesterday’s review, it’s time for Professors Danny and Tom to grade those drivers sitting at the back of the class. Whether it’s some bad racing luck, poor chemistry with a crew chief, or just plain awful driving, most of these guys from 21st on back have endured a season they’d like to forget. As the upcoming summer stretch heats up, those unlucky enough to be a part of this list won’t be fighting to make the Chase; instead, they’ll be working to save their jobs, explaining to unhappy sponsors and owners how things didn’t go as planned. But in the midst of this group are a handful of diamonds in the rough, wheelmen overachieving with single-car teams overmatched from the start against the multi-car powerhouses. Just which of these underdogs stood out above the rest? Read below to find out as our two-part midseason report card series comes to a close.

Bubble Driver Review: David Ragan Biggest Disappointment Amongst This Group in 2009

Well, it’s that time of year where we look back at the first half of 2009 and grade our bubble teams. Keep in mind this report card is aimed at a specific subset inside the Cup garage – those in and around the cutoff for the 35 “locked-in” spots the series gives out each week – and not the entire 43-car field. With that in mind, read on to see which of these struggling teams are actually overachieving with limited resources, as well as which ones are falling short of expectations as we take a closer look at the cars on the bubble 19 races into the season.

Mirror Driving: Double-File Disaster?, Ford’s Floundering Season & Gibbs Dominance… In Nationwide

After several late incidents at Chicagoland Speedway, several drivers blamed the double-file restarts for the problem. Was it the rule or the drivers themselves at the root of the problems on Saturday night?

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 LifeLock 400 at Chicagoland

Does anyone understand the penalty handed down to Reed Sorenson after Sorenson passed another car entering pit road? Sorenson failed to comply with the pass-through penalty, and NASCAR put out the black flag, as is standard procedure. When Sorenson still failed to comply, he got the black with white cross-meaning NASCAR would pull his scorecard if he did not comply immediately-which they did. For one lap. I thought it was standard procedure to pull the card until the driver complied, not just as a one-lap penalty. Sorenson did eventually comply, but why the inconsistency with scoring?

Bubble Breakdown: Brad Keselowski Posts Top-10 Run… But It’s John Andretti Who Widens Top-35 Gap

Several bubble teams made a little news this week, most notably Michael Waltrip Racing, who has scheduled a news conference for July 7th – where it is expected that Martin Truex Jr. will be announced as the team’s new driver for 2010. Also in the news was Robby Gordon, who continues to ride precariously close …

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Bubble Breakdown: Despite Early Off-Road Adventure, AJ Allmendinger Posts Top-10 Finish

Had you watched qualifying on Friday, you may have been asking yourself, “why did Scott Speed have to qualify on time while John Andretti had a guaranteed spot? NASCAR’s website has Speed in the 35th spot in points and Andretti in 36th.” The answer is simple; you were looking at the wrong standings. The Top-35 …

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