Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Blaney Needs a Sponsor, Ambrose & Newman Need a Break

With the second race of the season complete, a rough picture of the 2010 bubble is starting to take shape. Teams have just three more weeks to get their act together, which is why Sunday’s 500-miler at California was such an important step in the process. The cookie-cutter oval has very similar characteristics to the …

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2010 Bubble Preview: Nerve-Wracking 1st 5 Races for the Underdogs

Editors’ Note: Brock Beard takes over the Bubble Breakdown for 2010. Look for Mike Ravesi’s writing in a new, Thursday Fantasy Racing column – right here on Frontstretch! With qualifying out of the way and the Gatorade Duels upon us this week, it’s just a matter of days before the 2010 season officially begins. So …

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The Yellow Stripe: Earnhardt, Kyle Busch Among 10 Drivers Who Can’t Wait for ’10

The setting of the Chase field post-Richmond marks a clear delineation in the season between the haves and the have nots. And judging by the fevered TV coverage of the top-12 drivers, you’d have been forgiven if you wondered if the other 31 were even competing. But as a long list of DNFs and poor-handling …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Edition

The Cup Series’ trip to wine country in Sonoma, Calif. sure seemed to be worth the extra gas bill. The inevitable fuel-strategy gambles and unpredictable mishaps that Infineon Raceway commonly produces shuffled up the running order many times during Sunday’s race. The racing action through the pack was tight and fender-banging, especially in the closing laps, helping to cure the spacious, snooze-worthy action of the past couple of weeks in Michigan and Pocono. Despite the race boiling down to fuel strategy, the best driver and car combination won the event. Kasey Kahne survived several restarts and held off an almost equal car and superior driver in Tony Stewart. Not every team was as lucky, as some Chase hopefuls took hits in the points and others that have struggled all year continued that trend. Here are this week’s HOT, WARM and COLD drivers.

Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Bounces Back With Strong 17th to Solidify Spot in Top 35

If you make the long and winding drive down Long Pond Drive you’ll come upon the Speedway in the woods known as Pocono Raceway. In 2008, this track was nothing short of disaster for the bubble teams and 2009 wasn’t much kinder to them. It started Friday when qualifying was rained out, meaning that the teams would have to start from the rear of the field. Add in the fact that passing is so difficult in these cars and it’s a long grueling race anyway and you have a long afternoon for the teams hovering around the Top 35. The end result was only Michael Waltrip posting a top-25 finish among our drivers and that included a pair of spins. So to see how badly the bubble teams struggled on Sunday, read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Bubble Breakdown: Rain Plays Into the Hands of Robby Gordon While Scott Riggs Rains on Baldwin’s Parade

Well the 24 Hours of Charlotte finally came to an end late Monday afternoon and the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 was dominated by Kyle Busch and the weather. The race never went green on Sunday and suffered rain delays again on Monday before finally being called and producing a surprise winner. So to see which bubble teams gambled on the weather and won, and which wound up all wet, read this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Bubble Breakdown: Jeremy Mayfield Dealt Death Blow While Non-Top 35 Teams Struggle

Just like Jeremy Mayfield’s test results, the Lady In Black wasn’t kind to everyone to tried to conquer her this weekend. While there were some great days for teams on the right side of the bubble, many of the cars outside it saw their bubble burst with wrecks or poor qualifying runs that hampered overall performance. As a result, while no one new moved into the Top 35 this week, some teams had a chance to put distance between themselves and the rest of the pack. To see which ones had the most success – and who’s still in danger – read on to see this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Bubble Breakdown: Hornish’s 2 Top 10s Make Qualifying on Speed a Distant Memory

What a strange weekend for our beloved bubble dwellers it was at Richmond. At Friday’s qualifying session, Mike Bliss put the No. 09 Dodge in the sixth starting position with what seemed to be a car running with the momentum from last week’s upset win at Talladega. Scott Speed also looked like his team was harnessing their momentum from the previous weekend with an eighth-place qualifying run. In contrast, Robby Gordon, looked to be struggling with a 36th-place qualifying effort, while Sam Hornish Jr. looked to be back to normal with a lackluster 28th-place starting spot. But as you know, strange things happen under the lights at Richmond… so to see if our bubble teams flipped their weekends around, read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

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