Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: 2008 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? He made a last turn, last-ditch effort for the win, getting his car sideways in turn 4, but in the end Kurt Busch couldn’t quite grab a win at Phoenix. Still, Busch had a great run in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Penske Racing hasn’t been competitive this …

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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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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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Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Atlanta Coverage an Improvement Over Past Weeks

ESPN’s Sprint Cup portion of its broadcast schedule for 2008 has seen its ups and downs. Unfortunately for the network, recurring mistakes have overshadowed some of its other more solid efforts. At Atlanta, however, ESPN minimized its obvious mistakes and broadcast a very consistent race. Besides the championship standings, the big story heading into the …

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Will Jimmie Johnson’s Chase March Yield Your Team Atlanta Gold?

The intermediate track-heavy run to the finish is underway this week, and the heavy reliance on downforce and the resultant “aero push” that comes from being in traffic will be prominent this weekend. Now that the race for the title is pretty much a three-man battle – with Carl Edwards barely within shouting distance – …

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Keeping Martinsville Mayhem Off Your Team

The new and modern way of determining a series champion heads to the racetrack that has been on the Cup schedule the longest as it travels to southern Virginia for the second and final trip to Martinsville. Fantasy gamers are once again on edge because they face the daunting possibility that their driver can be …

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Picking the Best of Some Lowe’s Home Cookin’

The Chase is almost to the halfway point, and the haves and have nots among the Chase contenders are pretty well defined now. Fantasy gamers need to think about how desperate their top drivers are to get back into contention, or if they’re content with their lot and intend for consistent, solid finishes to differentiate …

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Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2008 Kansas Race Recap

The Key Moment: Carl Edwards sailed his Ford into the final corner in a kamikaze attempt to pass Jimmie Johnson. Edwards did get by the No. 48 car, but momentum carried him into the wall – allowing Johnson to retake the lead. In a Nutshell: The race might have been 100 miles too long but …

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Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: Getting Your Cookie-Cutter Lineup Set at Kansas

The Chase heads to the Midwest this weekend for its eighth visit to Kansas Speedway. The teams will once again be trying to make the boxier new car go through the air quickly and still turn once it gets to the corners. As this is our first and only visit to the track this season, …

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