Race Weekend Central

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Stater Brothers 300 at Fontana

In a word, uneventful. As if following up Daytona with Fontana wasn’t enough of a letdown, Kyle Busch made sure that there would be no last lap fireworks this time around. Leading over 140 of the 150 laps run Saturday night, Busch followed up his Truck win earlier in the day with a dominant performance …

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2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie Report Cards: Economic Woes & Poor Performances Leave Their Mark

Looking back on the 2008 NASCAR season, many fans will notice a lot of similarities between this year and 2007. The most obvious comparison, for example, involves the complete dominance by three-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson during both Chases. But the 2007 season also saw the emergence of a new trend in NASCAR, involving the …

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Bubble Breakdown Review: Yates Racing Biggest Surprise in Avoiding Top-35 Trouble

2008 Bubble Review The 2008 Sprint Cup tour is now officially in the books. And as with all sports, there were many surprises as well as disappointment throughout the year. So, as the holiday season descends upon us and the thundering of NASCAR’s engines fades away for another offseason, let’s take a moment and look …

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Happy Hour: The Best 2008 NASCAR Stories That You Will Soon Forget

When a few of the Frontstretch gang get together for Mirror Driving on Monday nights, what happens in that room gets chopped and mangled and edited before its airing on Wednesday. Conversations are stitched together for coherence, off-topic rants are removed, and a sincere effort is made to ensure that at least most of the …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Where Have All NASCAR’s Rookies Gone? Sent Home by Idealistic Owners

The true rookie story of this race is about those drivers who were not here. Yes, some anticipated debuts were ruined by the weather, but it is not Brad Keselowski, Bryan Clauson or even Scott Speed that I am talking about. No, it is the dismissal of Patrick Carpentier and the continued sabbatical for Michael McDowell that disturbs me. I would really like to know what goes on inside the head of a Sprint Cup owner when they set expectations for a rookie driver with little to no experience at racing’s top level. I’m beginning to think that some team executives expect a driver to jump into the seat of a stock car for the first time and immediately race his way into the Chase.

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Regan Smith Wins! Then NASCAR Taketh Away

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Aric Almirola (third), Regan Smith (fourth), Jon Wood (27th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (13th), Smith (18th), Wood (33rd) Rookie of the Race: Almirola. On Friday afternoon, rookie Almirola led a DEI assault on the top 10 in qualifying when he placed his U.S. Army car on the inside of row two. …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patrick Carpentier Makes the “Best” Out of a Bad Day

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (19th), Marcos Ambrose (20th), Sam Hornish Jr. (23rd), Joey Logano (28th), Regan Smith (35th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Carpentier (29th), Smith (32nd), Hornish (33rd), Ambrose (36th), Logano (39th) Rookie of the Race: Carpentier. The weekend started out on a positive note for Carpentier, who put his Dodge in the top …

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Bubble Breakdown: AJ Allmendinger Shines in Possible Team Red Bull Finale

As NASCAR headed to Kansas this past Sunday, the big news from the bubble teams left many scratching their heads, as Team Red Bull is about to let AJ Allmendinger go. According to the driver himself, he’s “almost 100% sure he’ll be out of the car after Kansas” after turning down a one-year deal to …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Michael McDowell Takes Rookie Honors & Nobody Notices at Dover

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (17th), Sam Hornish Jr. (25th), Regan Smith (26th), Michael McDowell (28th), Marcos Ambrose (29th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: McDowell (29th), Ambrose (32nd), Smith (37th), Carpentier (41st), Hornish (42nd) Rookie of the Race: McDowell. The freshman for Michael Waltrip Racing beat all of his ROTY counterparts, but it probably didn’t seem …

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