Race Weekend Central

Mirror Driving: Daytona Disappointment, Yellow Line Disgust, & is Kenseth a Hall of Famer?

The Daytona 500 had several controversial moments, but the biggest was the race being shortened by over 100 miles due to rain. Did NASCAR do the right thing by starting at the scheduled time, or should the green flag have been moved up so that the entire race could be run?

Did You Notice? Waltrip Succeeds, Martin Fails, The Top 35 Self-Destructs & Johnson’s Beard?

Did You Notice? The firestorm surrounding cutting the Daytona 500 48 laps short? Personally, I think the anger should be focused on the starting time of the race more than anything else. The 3:45 ET start makes it near impossible to avoid the type of weather issues that we experienced in Sunday’s event. If anything pops up, you don’t have the whole afternoon to kill drying the track and making sure the full distance gets run. Why are we starting the race so late? I can’t find an acceptable answer just yet. Personally, I think a 1:00 ET start time would be perfect…

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

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.

7 Points to Ponder: 2009 Daytona 500 Edition

While there was plenty of talk this month about Mark Martin’s winless streak in the Daytona 500, the guy he used to drive for had quite a winless streak of his own. Jack Roush has competed in the Daytona 500 every year since 1988, and has had a multi-car operation since 1992 without ever winning the Great American Race. Ironically, after waiting 21 years, the crew chief that got Roush and Kenseth to Victory Lane, Drew Blickensderfer, was calling his first Cup race atop the pit box.

Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch Win 2009 Gatorade Duels at Daytona

If Thursday’s Duel 150 qualifying races are any indication, Jeff Gordon is set to put a winless 2008 behind him. Gordon went toe-to-toe with former series champion Tony Stewart for the final five laps before holding off the No. 14 car, as well as teammate Jimmie Johnson, for the victory in the first Gatorade Duel qualifying race.

Voices From the Heartland: Time for “The Old Men” to Show “The Boys” a Thing or 2 at Daytona!

Normally, as we dive into all the hype that NASCAR inevitably creates heading into the Daytona 500, I really don’t get all that excited. ‘Cause let’s face it: the “Great American Race” means that I, once again, have a couple of great writing deadlines looming over me each week that I must deal with. And …

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Did You Notice? Double Yellow Line Means Ridiculous, Stremme’s Sad Debut & Said’s Big Chance

Did You Notice? The giant black wrecking ball on the track Saturday night? NASCAR was looking for a new wrinkle to make the races more exciting, and… Hold on a second. That was David Stremme? Ohhhh, now it all makes sense. Seriously, it’s hard to think of a worse debut for a driver with a top-level …

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Closing NASCAR’s 7th Decade: The Top-12 Drivers – Including the Champ Who’ll Lead Us Into 2010

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 …

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Bowles-Eye View: 5 Feel-Good Stories Giving Daytona an Unexpected Boost

Heading into Daytona Speedweeks, Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 1 on the side of his Chevy was synonymous with the one piece left alone from a desperation merger. Now, that “1” stands for something far more exciting – Daytona 500 polesitter – closing out a weekend that’s given hope to people looking for some different faces up …

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Martin Truex Jr. Claims Pole for 2009 Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 has what may be the quirkiest system for setting the field of any race in all of professional motorsports. On Sunday, it was Pole Qualifying day at Daytona. Pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 only sets the front row for the race, though. It also sets the starting lineups for the two …

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