Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Part-Timer Wins at Talladega While Top-30 Teams Turn in Top 15s

With both restrictor-plate wrecks and engines evening the playing field, six cars outside the top 30 in the owner standings wound up in the top 15 at the finish. Were Sam Hornish Jr. and Robby Gordon among the lucky group that broke through? You’ll just have to read on to find out in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Bubble Breakdown: Sam Hornish Jr. Rips Off 1st Top 10 of 2009, Solidifies Locked-In Spot

Bad news has hit one of our bubble teams since the last race at Texas. After several patchwork sponsorship deals to keep the team afloat through March, the No. 8 Chevrolet driven by Aric Almirola has been shut down due to a lack of funding. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing plans to bring everyone back once sponsorship is found, but with the car sitting outside the Top 35, sponsors aren’t really lining up to throw money at them. Despite that disappointment, there was also plenty of good news coming out of Phoenix, too. Several teams sitting outside the Top 35 posted top-10 qualifying performances, while another one fighting to stay inside it actually managed to finish there. Read on to see who’s moving up and who’s moving in the opposite direction in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Out with the New & In with the Old for Phoenix Freshmen

While youth has been the preference of many NASCAR owners over the last decade, it appears as though the trend may be reversed for the moment. On a night where the ageless wonder, Mark Martin, drove to victory lane at the age of 50 years young, the newbies of the sport continued to struggle with the handling of these Sprint Cup cars. While Joey Logano started his Nationwide Series career with a bang and Speed decimated the ARCA field last season, both appear to be having a difficult time adjusting to new cars raced at the sport’s top level.

Top 10 Places NASCAR Personalities May Have Found Their Easter Eggs

It has become sort of a tradition (looking back) that around Easter, this list has usually done something about Easter eggs and the creative places certain NASCAR personalities may stick them – excuse me – perhaps “find them” might be a better phrase. With the ever changing world of sponsorship, we should have plenty of material!

Mirror Driving: NASCAR Safety Gone Overboard, Catching Hendrick & Steve Wallace… Cup Driver?

Saturday’s Nationwide Series race saw Joey Logano grab just his second career victory in the series. Is this the confidence builder he needs to get his Cup career on track, or was it simply further proof this series is where he should have been all along?

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In NASCAR’s Other Top Series

Something that both the Nationwide and Truck series do share is a two-driver breakaway in the points standings. However, while one of those battles is just heating up, the other threatens to cool down as soon as Kansas in two weeks considering one or both of the drivers involved may not run the full schedule. Which championship in which series am I talking about? Find out by checking out the HOT, WARM and COLD drivers of NASCAR’s second and third biggest series. Not surprisingly, the way things are these days, you will notice a familiar name or two from Sprint Cup on the list.

Bowles-Eye View: Sliced Bread Keeps the Nationwide Series Stale Without His Presence

As Joey Logano entered victory lane Saturday in Nashville, he flashed a smile the likes of which hasn’t been seen in months. Seven weeks after struggling through a nightmare of a rookie season in Cup, 300 miles in the Nationwide Series reminded us there’s still potential there for young Joey to pair with that hype. It’s the type of experience that you’d hope would make the teen sensation feel right at home in stock cars. Too bad he doesn’t get the chance to feel it often enough.

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Pepsi 300 at Nashville

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 special Nationwide Series peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Are NASCAR’s Cost Cuts Helping or Just Another Smokescreen?

NASCAR recently announced that the sanctioning body would now conduct postrace engine teardowns at their Concord facility, the latest in a series of measures designed to cut costs. I’m not really sure how this one saves teams any money, unless NASCAR is planning on delivering the inspected engines to the teams they were taken from. It might save teams and officials a little time at the track, but the cost savings can’t be much. NASCAR has implemented several rules designed to cut costs, from banning testing at sanctioned tracks to the current car itself. But do any of them really work?

Did You Notice? Keselowski Kicking Logano’s Butt, Harvick Unhappy at Intermediates & Nationwide’s No-No?

Did You Notice? What keeps Kevin Harvick from being labeled a serious championship contender? It’s his lifetime performance on 1.5-mile ovals. Those tracks used to be easy pickins’ for Harvick – his first two Cup victories came at Atlanta and Chicagoland in 2001 – but over the last few seasons, his fortitude has faded at facilities which make up four of the 10 tracks in the Chase (and if you count the 2-miler at Fontana, it’s actually five). Not only has Harvick not won at any of these facilities since July of 2002 at Chicagoland, his team has struggled to remain even competitive on these tracks, period.

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