Race Weekend Central

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Brickyard 400

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 Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: No Primary Engine? No Problem for Joey Logano at Indy

Despite the fact that he has never driven on this track before, Joey Logano and his Home Depot team appeared to hit the setup right from the start, as opposed to halfway through the event… which has been the case in most of his races so far in 2009. They picked a fine time to get it correct from the beginning, though, as a slow start from the end of the field translates into a very long day. This team has itself poised for a strong second-half run.

2009 Driver Report Cards, Part I: Grading the Chase Contenders

We’re one race past the statistical halfway point of the 2009 season and as we gear up for the stretch run of 17 Sprint Cup races in 18 weeks, the much maligned (and in equal parts ballyhooed) “Chase for the Sprint Cup” is just seven races away. So before we get down to the serious business of the sharp end of the season, we’ve graded each of the top 40 drivers – based on the points standings as we run headed to the Brickyard. We’ve divided our review into two halves; today, we focus on the top 20 drivers while tomorrow we’ll look at the wheelmen running in positions 21 through 40. Some of these grades will seem just right to you, others a country mile off. But no matter what you think, let us know what you agree with, what you don’t, and why below…

Leading off, it’s “owner/driver” Tony Stewart, a moniker he’s taken well to, it seems.

2009 Rookie Midseason Grades: Who’s Better, Keselowski, Logano or… Ambrose?

The Sprint Cup Series marked the season’s halfway point with an “off week” shortly thereafter, which gives Professor Lumbis a chance to take a breath and evaluate this year’s crop of rookies. It certainly has been an odd season for the 2009 freshman class, as we’ve seen wins, DNQs, “bubble trouble,” and even outside Chase …

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland

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.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: “Rookies” Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose Take Advantage of a Late-Race Shootout – Chicago Style

If there was an award given to the winner of the second half of races, Joey Logano would need a bigger trophy room. The youngster continues to improve on his communication with crew chief Greg Zipadelli, and the two have found ways to make significant strides in the handling of the No. 20 car throughout each race over the past two months. When this team finally finds a way to unload off the truck with a car that Logano likes, then we can start to expect them to fight for top 10s at the end of the race instead of trying to squeak out top 20s. Look for that to start happening in a few weeks when the series returns to tracks for a second time on a regular basis, meaning Zipadelli and company can use Logano’s 2009 notes instead of Tony Stewart’s setups from last year.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland

It’s amazing what a driver can do when Goodyear brings rock-hard tires to the track. In a scenario reminiscent of that seen at the Cup race in Charlotte last October, where Jeff Burton managed to hold off a hard-charging Jimmie Johnson despite having nearly 40-lap older tires, Joey Logano and Jason Leffler stayed out under …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

The tight packs and unpredictable nuances of Daytona’s draft moved several competitors around our rankings this weekend. While one driver took a large hit thanks to an early wreck, another actually moved up in the standings… even though he was caught in a late-race melee and finished outside the top 10. That, in a nutshell, …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Rookies Run Well, But Only Marcos Ambrose Sealed the Deal in Daytona

While their finishes may not show it, all the rookies and almost rookies had impressive runs during the Coke Zero 400. Joey Logano continues to look more and more comfortable behind the wheel of these racecars, and he especially appears to be getting the hang of restrictor-plate racing. Of course, a little luck doesn’t hurt either. Logano was at the right place at the right time, which allowed him to miss two wrecks on Saturday. And even when Logano was in the wrong place at the wrong time, it could not have come at a better time – the very end of the race. When he is able to shed the yellow stripe next year and perhaps earn a dancing partner or two, Logano will certainly be a force at the superspeedways for years to come.

Did You Notice? Ganassi Kept the Wrong Guy, Logano’s a Little Too Shy & Money Talks

Did You Notice? That for all the Joey Logano hype, not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon quite yet? Certainly, Sunday’s race was a bonified step in the right direction for establishing the 19-year-old as a national superstar. But while Logano shattered the record for being the youngest race winner in NASCAR history, what we’ve …

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