Race Weekend Central

2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie Report Cards: Economic Woes & Poor Performances Leave Their Mark

Looking back on the 2008 NASCAR season, many fans will notice a lot of similarities between this year and 2007. The most obvious comparison, for example, involves the complete dominance by three-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson during both Chases. But the 2007 season also saw the emergence of a new trend in NASCAR, involving the …

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Fanning the Flames: Closing the Inbox on the 2008 NASCAR Season

The NASCAR offseason is finally upon us; but as they say, there is no rest for the weary. It’s been a blast talking with so many of you during my second season with Frontstretch, so keep those questions coming and we’ll publish a few Fanning the Flames columns during the circuit’s downtime. Besides, some of …

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The Yellow Stripe: Top 15 Commercials of the 2008 NASCAR Season

Making a great 30-second ad is next to impossible. For those who’ve not sat for hours on a set drinking coffee, eating junk food and waiting interminably for something to happen, you would be absolutely shocked at the length of time it takes to make something seemingly so simple. Throughout the creative process (which typically …

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Fanning the Flames: An Act of Charity, a NASCAR Chase Take & a Crazy Rumor

Good questions this week and I’m feeling a bit long winded, so let’s get to it. Q: Hey Matt! For the Texas race results, I noticed that Joey Logano was not awarded points. Instead, in that column it reads “PE” even though he finished 40th. What the heck does that mean? – Confused in Iowa A: Funny, …

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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 …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Brad Keselowski Has Impressive Debut While Joey Logano Struggles

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Sam Hornish Jr. (21st), Marcos Ambrose (24th), Regan Smith (25th), Scott Speed (33rd), Brad Keselowski (37th), Joey Logano (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Keselowski (19th), Ambrose (21st), Hornish (23rd), Speed (33rd), Smith (34th), Logano (40th) Rookie of the Race: Keselowski. The 24-year-old rookie finally got to make his Sprint Cup debut this …

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 O’Reilly Challenge at Texas

In a Nutshell: The results at Texas Motor Speedway were exactly what anyone who’s followed the Nationwide Series in 2008 would expect. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Toyotas were untouchable. Cup regulars dominated the finishing order, taking six of the top-eight finishing positions. And Kyle Busch led early and often, leading 174 of 200 laps to score …

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The Yellow Stripe: Did the NASCAR Genie Pull Through in 2008?

This is my 50th column for Frontstretch, and with just three races to go in 2008 I’m fast approaching the end of my rookie year as a NASCAR columnist. I’m not sure the esteemed editors are quite ready to pull the Yellow Stripe off my back bumper (traditionally, the sign that denotes a first-year driver) but …

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Drivers Take Turns Trying to Solve Rained-Out Qualifying at Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. – Rain came in droves at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, meaning that on-track activity was at a minimum. This means that qualifying for the truck and Cup teams couldn’t take place, and practice time for the two series was almost non-existent. The clouds parted midday, giving track crews time to dry the …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Sam Hornish Jr. Bounces Back from Crash to Widen Lead at Atlanta

Rookies in the Starting Lineup (Due to rain, qualifying was canceled and the field was set by owner points): Regan Smith (32nd), Scott Speed (34th), Sam Hornish Jr. (36th), Marcos Ambrose (38th), Chad McCumbee (41st) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Hornish (24th), Ambrose (29th), Smith (30th), Speed (34th), McCumbee (36th) Rookie of the Race: Hornish. From the drop …

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