Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip, Michael McDowell in a Bind After Tough Go at Chicago

NASCAR began a short Midwest swing this weekend in Chicagoland with the running of the LifeLock.com 400. Mother Nature decided to play a big role in the proceedings early on, as the rains moved in and washed out NASCAR’s qualifying session. But the washout actually gave our Sprint Cup bubble teams a sigh of relief; …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Rough Ride for NASCAR Freshmen at Chicagoland

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Regan Smith (33rd), Michael McDowell (34th), Sam Hornish Jr. (35th), Patrick Carpentier (42nd). Note: Qualifying was rained out, so the field was set by owner points. Unofficial Finishing Positions: Carpentier (30th), Smith (34th), Hornish Jr. (37th), McDowell (43rd). Rookie of the Race: Carpentier. As the title of the article says, …

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The Yellow Stripe: 18 Storylines After 18 Races – NASCAR’s Cup Series at Halfway

With the conclusion of the high-banked, 200-mph, 400-mile drama-fest at Daytona, we’re at the halfway point of the 2008 season. And while each week usually unfolds into its own unique episode in the 10-month epic of a soap opera NASCAR has become, there are always certain storylines that resonate across each season, from track to …

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Bubble Breakdown: Last-Lap Restrictor-Plate Mayhem Ruins Daytona for Several Bubble Teams

As NASCAR made its first return trip to a racetrack in 2008, several bubble teams once again showed signs of life during Friday’s qualifying session. Joe Nemechek, Johnny Sauter and Regan Smith turned laps that qualified them in the fourth, fifth and eighth starting positions respectively, serving notice they planned to be a force during the …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patrick Carpentier Captures Top Honors at Daytona

Editor’s Note: Remember that all finishing positions were based on the unofficial results from Saturday night’s race. NASCAR will release the official results sometime around noon ET on Monday, which could cause adjustments based on how they review the final running order of this restrictor-plate event. Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Regan Smith (eighth), Patrick …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Aric Almirola Ascends to the Top at New Hampshire

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (first), Dario Franchitti (seventh), Sam Hornish Jr. (20th), Regan Smith (25th), Michael McDowell (38th), Aric Almirola (39th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (23rd), Smith (27th), Carpentier (31st), Franchitti (38th), Hornish (39th), McDowell (42nd) Rookie of the Race: Almirola. It was a dismal start to the weekend for Almirola – …

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Bubble Breakdown: Rain Shines Down on Several NASCAR Bubble Teams

The teams on the edges of NASCAR’s Top 35 – or simply forced to qualify on speed – ruled the roost in Friday’s qualifying session. After a rain delay cooled the track, bubble dwellers swept five of the top-10 spots, including rookie Patrick Carpentier taking the pole to become the first top qualifier not born …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Marcos Ambrose Steals the Show, But McDowell Tops the Rookies at Sonoma

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Marcos Ambrose (seventh), Sam Hornish Jr. (17th), Ron Fellows (22nd), Max Papis (28th), Michael McDowell (34th), Patrick Carpentier (37th), Aric Almirola (40th), Brian Simo (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: McDowell (21st), Carpentier (24th), Almirola (28th), Fellows (29th), Hornish Jr. (31st), Papis (35th), Ambrose (42nd), Simo (43rd) Rookie of the Race: Ambrose. It …

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Racing Shines While Road-Course Ringers Struggle at Sonoma

Road-course races can always have a long-term effect on the points standings since teams that ordinarily might not run all that well can get good finishes, either by using substitute drivers or their normal drivers having significant skills on road courses. This set the stage for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. …

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Wrecks, But It’s Haas CNC Crashing Out of Top 35

Rain on Friday afternoon washed out NASCAR qualifying at Michigan International Raceway, meaning the starting grid was set by owner points – leaving the No. 70 Haas Automation Chevrolet and the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Chevy as the odd teams out. But while the teams on the bubble breathed a sigh of relief, their …

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