Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Milwaukee/Infineon Edition

When Kurt Busch got dumped by Jimmie Johnson in the second half of Sunday’s race everybody in the Frontstretch live blog assumed Busch would have a few choice words for the three-time defending champion. That wasn’t the case as Busch offered up a classy post-race interview and even shook hands with the driver who turned him. Hopefully baby brother can take a few pointers from Kurt. He fought back for a top 15 at a time when Kyle may have thrown in the towel. That’s the difference between a champion and a driver with loads of talent, but little respect.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Lifelock 400 at Michigan

Frontstretch Power Rankings

The 2-mile oval in the Irish Hills of Michigan brought us a fuel mileage race for the second straight week on the Cup tour. In the end, it was Mark Martin who had a little extra gas in his tank … but was it enough to move all the way to the top of our chart? Meanwhile, Michigan’s reputation as a Blue Oval speedway took one heck of a hit, as none of the Roush cars finished higher than fourth. How much did our experts penalize them for their surprising slump?

Read on to find out in this week’s version of the Frontstretch Top 15.

Running Their Mouth: 2009 LifeLock 400 at Michigan

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 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Happy Hour’s Best Drivers in the Sport, Part 2: Drivers #10-#6

I unwittingly picked a bad time to discuss who the best drivers in the sport are today. Between Kyle Busch’s guitar smashing, double-file restarts and the Jeremy Mayfield situation, there is plenty to discuss in NASCAR these days that gets a writer’s columns clicked on by subject matter alone. Maybe this column could have been …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Finding What Luck is Left in the Irish Hills

As the Sprint Cup Series turns to the Michigan International Speedway, teams and fans alike will find themselves in the faces of America’s former automotive giants, harshly reminded of the economic tumult that has driven the country into a deep recession. Speaking of giants, look for NASCAR’s giant teams to dominate the weekend. Michigan’s long, wide racing surface places a premium on horsepower, and is a place where the teams that have an intermediate package will clearly outshine the have-nots.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Pocono 500

The tricky triangle in Pocono threw everything at the drivers but the kitchen sink. There was rain, a new double-file restart procedure, and even a late-race fuel-mileage gamble thrown in for good measure. As you might expect, with that many variables the final running order was turned upside down after 500 miles of competition. But the one place where stability held was at the top; and after Tony Stewart’s first win as an owner/driver, he did his best to solidify his reign atop our NASCAR Power Rankings.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Pocono 500 Edition

Sunday was a long day in Long Pond, Pa., as only a few teams really had their cars hooked up to handle the tricky triangle that is Pocono Raceway. While positive storylines like the implementation of double-file restarts and Tony Stewart’s march from the back of the pack to win his first race as an owner permeated the day, the same old song of single-file racing at the front of the pack was set to loop. The only chance for some teams to find success at Pocono was by gambling on fuel mileage, which garnered top-10 finishes for Marcos Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya. Unfortunately, teams high in the points that are not worried about falling out of Chase contention, like Stewart’s, Carl Edwards’s and Jeff Gordon’s also tried the same strategy and came out on top. Here are the HOT, WARM and COLD teams after the conclusion of the Pocono 500.

Tony Stewart Brings Home Maiden Victory for His Own Team, Wins 2009 Pocono 500

In the Sprint Cup Series, it has become incredibly rare for owner-drivers to win. In fact, it had been over 10 years since the last time it had happened (Note: Dale Earnhardt does not count here because he was not driving one of his own cars). On Sunday, Tony Stewart achieved the feat. Despite having …

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Autism Speaks 400 at Dover

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 Autism Speaks 400 in Dover, Delaware Sunday.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Coca-Cola 600

While racing was supposed to be the focus at Charlotte, rain wound up being the headline. Since the 600-miler was called short due to weather, the final standings were a jumbled mess of drivers who took a risk on the final pit stop to steal a good finish – leaving the fastest cars in the field scrambling for what little they could get. With such a haphazard end to a Memorial Day race plagued by Mother Nature’s wrath, our voters seemed to be left unaffected by these random results. That left the Power Rankings mostly intact, although there were a few exceptions to the rule – in particular two drivers from mid-level teams who made some serious strides up the list. Who are they? Look below to find out, seeing if your driver stayed high and dry or wound up fighting a torrential downpour down the Power Rankings following Monday’s Coca-Cola 600.

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