Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown Review: Yates Racing Biggest Surprise in Avoiding Top-35 Trouble

The 2008 Sprint Cup tour is now officially in the books. And as with all sports, there were many surprises as well as disappointment throughout the year. So, as the holiday season descends upon us and the thundering of NASCAR’s engines fades away for another offseason, let’s take a moment and look back upon the past 10 months of racing, seeing who among the sport’s middle and bottom-tier teams exceeded everyone’s expectations – and who didn’t quite live up to them.

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

Did You Notice? Larry Carter left Roush Fenway Racing only to be “rehired” at Yates? So, in other words he got transferred to the “B” squad. In other Yates Racing news, Todd Parrott has officially left the organization for which he once won a championship with former driver Dale Jarrett. Where he lands is unknown, but that departure for me removes one of the last links to when this team was a successful independent organization. Newer fans don’t understand that in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Parrott was right up there with the likes of Chad Knaus, Bob Osborne and Greg Zipadelli as one of the great crew chief minds in the business. Unfortunately, the last few years have seen him hang on too long with an organization that lost its money, its power, and its direction – and never quite could get it back until Roush up and took them under his wing.

Fanning the Flames: Talking IROC, Driver Cash & The Perp Who Got Away With One

Q: Matt, let me preface my question by saying this: I know we are dealing with NASCAR, so there is no such thing as consistency. But how is it that [David] Gilliland gets parked for wrecking [Juan Pablo] Montoya one week and [Matt] Kenseth gets off after wrecking a whole pack of cars the next? No points? No fine? No nothing???

Mirror Driving: Matt Kenseth’s Punt, Merger Meltdown & NASCAR’s TV Tragedy

After 4 1/2 hours and two delays, ABC made the decision to switch coverage of the race to ESPN2 so they could show America’s Funniest Home Videos. Was that a serious blow to the sport, or an unavoidable move due to race length? And if Jimmie Johnson wasn’t winning the race handily, would the network have made the same move?

Did You Notice? Montoya’s Nightmare, Logano Losing Steam & Disbelieving a Championship Dream?

Did You Notice? Juan Pablo Montoya’s sophomore season has officially become a nightmare? Of drivers who’ve started all 34 races in 2008, Montoya has the most DNFs with nine. Eight of those have been caused by crashes, including four in the last five races that have wrecked – literally – any supposed on-track improvements for the No. 42. Any guesses as to who’s second on the DNFs list? Surprise, surprise… it’s David Gilliland, with eight of them — including seven wrecks — in 34 starts. So I guess it should come as no surprise that the two ran into each other in Texas, huh? Both drivers are also struggling to get full-time sponsorship for 2009; but with credentials like that to sell, it’s no wonder they’re having trouble with people signing on the bottom line.

Mirror Driving: The Intentional Wreck, Cautioning Against Cautions & Busch Sets a Record

Carl Edwards’s win on Sunday cut his points deficit to 106 with two races to go. Too little, too late, or is there an upset in the making?

Voice of Vito: Haven’t I Seen This Show Before? Deja Vu All Over Again in the Lone Star State

Have you ever got the feeling while watching a movie, that you may have seen it once or twice before? You’ll notice it when viewing virtually any action movie made over the last 20 years that it is essentially a slightly disguised rip off of Die Hard – with the exception of Ironman – which by the way, is awesome. I’ve had similar feelings before watching races. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you swear you’ve seen the same one before – and I don’t mean just because there’s been another 30-car pile up at Talladega. Those similarly uneasy feelings came over me again this past Sunday while watching the Dickies 500 from Texas Motor Speedway. Well, at Texas Motor Speedway. I was in my living room. Thank you for the English lessons, U.S. educational system. But I digress…

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Dickies 500 at Texas

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 car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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