Race Weekend Central

Fanning the Flames: Montoya’s Tach, Elliott’s Oil & The Revenge of the Pony Cars

With apologies to my colleagues here on Frontstretch, the column everyone should be reading this week (actually, every week) is by Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky at StockCarScience.com. It shines light on many of the reasons it’s easy to speed on pit road, what role rpms, gears and the transmission play, and why simply installing a speedometer …

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Did You Notice? Mayfield Burned at the Stake, Sadler’s Recurring Nightmare & A Champ Cashing In

Did You Notice? That in light of everything that’s happened over the past week, there’s a large army of media, fans, garage members, etc. looking to tar and feather Jeremy Mayfield before all the evidence has even been collected? I had a hard-nosed debate with Dennis Michelsen of RaceTalkRadio.com Monday night about this issue, one …

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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.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Daytona Summer Speedweeks Edition

The July 4th bash at Daytona International Speedway literally ended with a bang, as Kyle Busch’s attempt at blocking Tony Stewart from taking the race win sent him bouncing off the frontstretch wall. While the finish stole the headlines, the plights of Chase-contending drivers permeated other post-race storylines. Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Kasey Kahne, Mark …

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of 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 peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

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.

Running Their Mouth: 2009 LifeLock 400 at Michigan

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of 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 peek at what the drivers were thinking following the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Grading the 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part 1

NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race, the Coca-Cola 600, represents a significant milestone in the 2009 season. It’s not quite the halfway point to the Chase (that comes the following week after Dover), but once the checkers fly late Sunday evening, we’re exactly one-third of the way through the 36-race schedule. With that in mind, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at how the Sprint Cup contenders (and pretenders) have performed thus far.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 All-Star Race at Charlotte Edition

Tony Stewart took Lowe’s Motor Speedway by storm Saturday night, as the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy smelled victory and found it in the 25th annual All-Star Race. Stewart’s first win as a driver/owner and first All-Star win came in a race that saw tepid-at-best racing in the first three segments …

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