Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 AAA Texas 500

There was a lot of shuffling at the top on Sunday, but in the end, Martin Truex Jr. had what may be the quietest top 10 of all. Truex wasn’t a contender for the win, but he had a good, solid car, stayed out of trouble, and got a great eighth-place finish when it counted. Can’t argue with that, especially when the driver has scored three straight top-10 results for the first time in two years with Michael Waltrip Racing. Just how long has this drought been for Truex? Longer than you think. The last time he had three straight runs of 10th or better was during the final three season-ending races of 2007.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond

I can’t say that I’m a fan of NASCAR’s selectively allowing the boys to have at it. First, Kyle Busch was allowed to blatantly wreck Elliott Sadler in the CWTS race at Bristol without so much as a public slap on the wrist. Then at Richmond, there were three separate payback incidents handled three different ways.

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen

On the first green-white-checker restart, Kyle Busch overdrove turn 1, was unable to keep his car in the preferred groove on exit, and opened the door for Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose to slip by. That left the two of them to settle the win amongst themselves; through the bus stop, Ambrose pounced, making the pass and riding off into the sunset for his first career Cup win.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Sprint Showdown at Charlotte

If there had been a few more laps, Brad Keselowski might have watched the All-Star Race on TV, because Marcos Ambrose was driving it like he stole it in the closing laps, gaining like a freight train overtaking a tortoise. He ran out of time, finishing third, but Ambrose showed that once again, his Richard Petty Motorsports team could indeed be there at the end. Teammate AJ Allmendinger finished fourth to cap off a great night for the organization.

Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2011 FedEx 400 at Dover

Matt Kenseth took two tires and Mark Martin stayed out while leaders Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer all took four during pit stops under caution on lap 364 after Juan Pablo Montoya backed into the turn 4 wall. Hey, being on probation and unable to hit other drivers, he needed to hit something.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas

Usually the villain of the race earns the title on the track. Usually that guy is left wondering when he’ll be loved because he caused something he may or may not regret later. But this week’s winner wasn’t even in the race. Carl Edwards’s mom, it seems, inadvertently gave her son a mild case of food poisoning with Friday night’s dinner, and the driver was feeling the effects during the race on Saturday. Teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was on standby, but Edwards finished the race, ending up third and taking over the points lead to boot. Maybe he needs to have her cook that again at Homestead…

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville

Falling just a few laps short of the win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was vintage Earnhardt on Sunday, passing Kyle Busch for the lead on lap 480 with a perfectly executed bump-and-run and holding on until lap 496, when Kevin Harvick passed for the win. Earnhardt nearly came back, laying a bumper to Harvick on a crossover move, but not quite in the right location to move Harvick up the track. It was the most like a driver hungry for a win that Earnhardt has looked in a very long time.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas

It was a rare pole for Matt Kenseth, a driver not known for qualifying prowess, and early on it looked as though Kenseth was on cruise control, but after a flat tire and subsequent race spent struggling to get back on the lead lap, Kenseth finished a hard-fought 11th. Considering how long Kenseth was trapped a circuit down, that’s no walk in the park.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: A Lot at Stake for 6 (Other) Drivers to Watch at Homestead

There is a report circulating at Homestead-Miami Speedway that has taken many people by surprise. It’s not really earth-shattering, yet it seems to have crept up on the racing public. In fact many people seem to not have heard it at all. There are going to be 43 drivers in the race on Sunday. Yeah, …

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