NASCAR Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Winless Champ Not Such a Stretch After All?

2014 Martinsville II CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr burnout CIA

Credit: CIA Stock Photography

One week makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s win at Martinsville on Sunday, while great for the morale of the team, was a case of too little too late. After being eliminated from the Chase one week prior at Talladega, Earnhardt pulled through and won the very next week at Martinsville, a …

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The Frontstretch Five: Questions Yet To Be Answered in 2014

2014 Martinsville II CUP Martinsville overhead CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. © 2014)

Welcome to the Frontstretch Five, a brand-new column for 2014! Each week, Amy Henderson takes a look at the racing, the drivers, and the storylines that drive NASCAR and produces a list of five people, places, things, and ideas that define the current state of our sport. This week, Amy has five questions that there …

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Did You Notice? … Stories Outside The Chase, A Fork In The Road For Harvick And Quick Hits

2014 Martinsville II CUP Kyle Larson eew CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Did You Notice?… There’s still plenty more going on these days than the Chase? As we enter the final three races of 2014, here’s a quick look at some great stories going on that have been buried by NASCAR’s “playoffs, playoffs, playoffs…” Kyle Larson. Yeah, he was terrible at Martinsville but Larson, who has wrapped …

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Martinsville

2014 Martinsville II CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr wins CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s win at Martinsville last weekend marked the first non-Chase contender to win a race in the Chase this season. After being eliminated from championship contention last weekend at Talladega, Earnhardt Jr. held off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon to claim his fourth win of the season, first at Martinsville and 22nd overall for …

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Five Points to Ponder: Projecting Final Four, Junior’s Good Year & Frayed Tempers

2014 Martinsville II CUP Brian Vickers car CIA

(Photo: CIA Stock Photo, Inc. © 2014)

One: Final Four Up for Grabs Two races remain until we learn which quartet of drivers will contest for the Sprint Cup championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Most of us, myself included, had assumed we would find out at least one of those four names at Martinsville, but for the first time in seven Chase races …

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in NASCAR: Martinsville – Texas Edition

2014 Chicago CUP David Ragan CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

The Eliminator Round is underway and already multiple drivers are in trouble. The tight confines of Martinsville Speedway proved challenging for some as new rivalries were ignited and older ones brought back to life. Yet, some championship hopefuls escaped with little more than a scratch and one driver – unfulfilled by last week’s restrictor plate …

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Fantasy Insider: Martinsville Mayhem Ahead

One of the interesting things about the fantasy world in NASCAR is that as the Chase field narrows, just who is in the Chase in real life means less and less for your fantasy picks most likely. It’s just simple numbers. With just eight drivers remaining in contention for the title heading into Martinsville, that …

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Did You Notice? … Tough Sledding, Payback Time And Penalty Free

2014 Atlanta NNS fans CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Did You Notice?… How ratings keep declining in this Chase? Talladega, the Russian Roulette 500-miler of the playoffs should have been a “can’t miss” race for those interested in the sport’s new format. There’s no event more unpredictable for an “elimination” event, whereby the checkered flag Sprint Cup’s postseason field was trimmed from twelve to …

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NASCAR Mailbox: The Absence of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from Chase Doesn’t Change Anything

2014 Talladega II CUP Dale Earnhardt Jr crash CIA

(Credit: CIA Stock Photography)

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s failure to move onto the next round in the Chase Grid might perhaps be the best thing to happen to the Chase detractors who want to see the end of it all. I mean, Earnhardt was doing so well and was poised to potentially win his first career Sprint Cup Series championship, …

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Power Rankings: Top 15 After Talladega

2014 Talladega II CUP Brad Keselowski flag credit NASCAR via Getty Images

Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

As predicted, it took until the checkered flag before we knew who would be moving on to the eight-driver Eliminator Round. Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Matt Kenseth all knew what they had to do to continue their bid for a championship: win. Johnson led the most laps, Earnhardt, Jr. led the …

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