The Sprint Cup Series concludes its two-week, West Coast tour with a stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday. It’s the first race of the season on a 1.5-mile oval, the most common distance for a NASCAR track in this division. Since being reconfigured with higher banking in the corners, LVMS has become an entirely different animal, going from “cookie cutter” to highly competitive throughout its 427-mile main event. With its asphalt ever aging, expect the racing to evolve even further this coming weekend. But when push comes to shove, LVMS is another intermediate oval, after all – which means it’s more than likely that come race’s end, the usual suspects from the sport’s biggest teams will be running up front. In 11 total races at this track, a car from Roush or Hendrick has stood in victory lane all but once, when Sterling Marlin pulled the upset for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2002.
NASCAR has kept two races on the schedule at Auto Club Speedway despite faltering attendance and fan complaints about the quality of racing, claiming that it needs to have these dates in the California market. But is it really better for the sport to have a presence in certain cities than it is to provide a better product to the larger number of fans who tune in on television each week?
After Matt Kenseth and his “Killer Bees,” our Frontstretch Power Rankings were as fluid as you might expect for just the second week of the season. The competition may be considered boring at California, but it was anything but when you look at the many changes in our Top 15 this week. Plenty of people moved up, down, and just plain off the list after 500 miles of racing out west. So, read on to see if your driver kept from falling asleep at the wheel, or if he won the Oscar for “Most Precipitous Fall From Grace” in this week’s Power Rankings.
Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all 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 sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway.
Like it or not, after just 380 miles the first race of the 2009 Sprint Cup season is officially in the books. Matt Kenseth was crowned the winner of just the fourth rain-shortened Daytona 500 in history, taking the lead one lap before the weather with a generous push from runner-up Kevin Harvick. But was that last-lap pass enough to leave Kenseth number one in the eyes of our staff this week? After all, Kyle Busch dominated the race, only to become an innocent victim of the day’s big wreck on lap 125. And where did AJ Allmendinger land after starting the year with a career-best third – driving for a team that doesn’t even know if it’ll exist two months from now? Find these answers, and more, by examining our first Top-15 Power Rankings poll of the year.
Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all 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 sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
2009 closes out the first decade of the 21st century for NASCAR, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. Who would have thought back in 2000 Petty Enterprises would cease to exist nine years later – along with no Adam Petty to lead NASCAR’s first family into the next generation? Or that Dale Earnhardt …
After another long offseason, NASCAR is set to return to our lives with the 31st Annual Bud Shootout in less than two weeks! That means it’s time to get the blood racing and your mind fixated on another year of our sport. This week, we’ll get you thinking on six big questions facing NASCAR this …
In a season that was disappointing, to say the least, Kurt Busch struggled to simply remain on the lead lap in quite a few races – he actually finished off the lead lap in half the races run, a once-unthinkable scenario for Penske’s No. 2 Dodge.
In 35 races so far this NASCAR season, we’ve seen the sport’s matinee idol perform well, but not spectacularly in his first season with a top team. We’ve seen an amazing stretch of races where a champion who scored the most points last season went winless. We’ve seen a cocky young superstar explode for eight …