Some retro short-track racing in Virginia provided a lot of high-powered action Saturday night, with the end result a record 15 caution flags and a late-race pit strategy that left the standings jumbled all the way up until the checkered flag. That unpredictability factored right into our own Power Rankings this week, as 14 out …
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.” So reportedly said Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister of Great Britain from 1874 to 1880. It’s a well-known quote that is attributed to other writers as well, including Mark Twain; but regardless of its exact point of origin, it’s a citation the drivers placed outside …
With Talladega in the rear-view mirror, the Sprint Cup Series turns to the cozier confines of Richmond International Raceway and good ol’ fashioned short tracking this week. But while the Series’ last downforce race at Phoenix offered a glimpse of who you’d expect to contend in Virginia’s capital, don’t discount what happened last Sunday. With more than half of the top 12 in the standings involved in wrecks, the wild-card race at Talladega certainly managed to throw a wrench into the momentum of some contenders. The “Big One” doesn’t discriminate whenever it chooses its victims … and the hangover from those nasty crashes can last a couple of weeks if teams aren’t careful. With that in mind, who’s ready to vault towards fantasy perfection at the track many call perfect for racing? Short-tracking on a Saturday night is always cause to put a smile on race fans’ faces… and with the help of the Frontstretch Insiders, this weekend will be all the more enjoyable for you and your fantasy lineup.
Brad Keselowski won in just his fifth career Sprint Cup start at Talladega this past weekend. With Mark Martin now contemplating staying in the No. 5 – a ride many expect Keselowski to inherit – in 2010 and possibly beyond, what does Keselowski’s Cup Series future hold?
The wild card that is restrictor-plate racing at Talladega certainly mixed up our rankings as much as it mixed up the standings. The Big Ones led to big changes for our experts, as multiple drivers received first-place votes and just two of 15 stayed in the same position that they occupied last week. The race ended with a first-time winner in victory lane this weekend… and when the dust settled on this week’s poll, there was a first-time member on our list, too. Read on to see if your driver survived Sunday’s roller coaster ride, landing firmly in this week’s edition of the Frontstretch Power Rankings.
Talladega had an unlikely hero on Sunday. Brad Keselowski braved a block from Carl Edwards, whose car went airborne and across Ryan Newman’s car, to win his first Sprint Cup race at Talladega in only his fifth career start. Edwards’s car, meanwhile, went flying into the catchfence, ripping into it and sending parts into the grandstands. There have been reports of eight with minor injuries, one of them airlifted to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital with a minor laceration of her lip and a “possible broken jaw.” A second fan, sitting in the same section of the grandstands, was airlifted to Brookwood Hospital complaining of chest pains after the incident.
Did You Notice? Just probation for Casey Mears and Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Did you really expect the sanctioning body to do anything more after their little post-race altercation at Phoenix? We already have the U.S. Army spread out in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere across the globe… there’s no need to dispatch an additional battalion to protect Brian France and Co. should they have made the bold, unprecedented move of suspending Earnhardt for aggressive driving – or taking away points that could possibly keep him from Chase-ing with the season he’s had.
Upon exiting his winning Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Martin invoked the name of a previous Hendrick driver, Tim Richmond. He remembered how great it was to see Richmond win after coming back from a bout with pneumonia that was ultimately the result of the AIDS virus he had contracted. He mentioned how Rick Hendrick was able to make his fallen comrade’s dreams come true; and now he had done the same for Martin, who has been so close to winning the last few years – even while running a limited schedule. The invitation from Hendrick led him to shelve his part-time status and return to the fold full-time for another run at the ultimate prize that has eluded him for so long: a Sprint Cup championship.
Continuing a recent trend, the race at Phoenix saw an 18% drop in ratings from over a year ago despite a popular Mark Martin victory. Why are ratings continuing to plummet, and is there any way to stop the trend?
Phoenix’s Saturday night showdown may have been Mark Martin’s time to shine… but it didn’t mean much for the rest of the Sprint Cup competition. Most of the racing behind him was tame at best, with few top drivers encountering problems that left them dropping off our Power Rankings list. Just how far did Martin’s win make him rise? Read on to find out in this week’s edition of our Power Rankings.