Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Taming the Beast of the Southeast

With the All-Star Race behind us, it’s back to points racing with one of NASCAR’s most prestigious and demanding events, the season’s only 600-mile race. Since its repaving, Lowe’s Motor Speedway has been home to fast and treacherous competition, with side by side in the corners proving next to impossible to control for drivers struggling with the handling of their racecars. A true test of man and machine, Sunday’s race will be a battle of attrition and adjustment as the track transitions from day to night. But just like Jeff Gordon’s back, the Frontstretch Fantasy Insider is ready to get your fantasy teams through 600 miles… and when our picks go three-wide, expect them to come out unscathed.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 Heading Into the 2009 Coca-Cola 600

The All-Star Race is supposed to feature the cream of the crop, a chance for Sprint Cup’s top tier to go head-to-head in a battle royale with nothing but money and pride on the line. And after a tame beginning, this race featuring a Who’s Who of stock car stardom refused to disappoint, with drivers continuing to beat and bang throughout the last 10 laps of the 25th annual shootout. When the Smoke cleared, it was Smoke himself taking his first trophy as an owner/driver in the series, a move which easily solidified his hold atop our weekly list.

But while Tony Stewart leads the pack, how did the rest of your favorite stars fare heading into the Coca-Cola 600? Read on to see if your driver made the most of his All-Star appearance Saturday night to move up our Power Rankings ladder.

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

The Track Too Tough to Tame may have a new surface, but she’s that same old fickle girl. The rankings may not have taken a DNF at Darlington, but they certainly earned their stripe with the list all scrambled after 500 miles there Saturday night. Former champions are hogging the top of the charts, but as you’ll see this week, our experts didn’t ignore a promising rookie who survived the Lady in Black. Read on to see if your driver stayed off of the wall or ended up in the minnow pond this weekend during the Southern 500.

Is Catching Mayfield Enough? NASCAR Should Have No Restraint When It Comes to Drug Testing

Just as Major League Baseball’s new era of drug policing caught perhaps its biggest name yet in Manny Ramirez, just last week NASCAR’s enhanced drug testing policy snared the most notable driver in recent memory for substance abuse in Jeremy Mayfield, a two-time Chase contender and current Sprint Cup owner. After the positive test was announced just prior to Saturday night’s race at Richmond, the veteran has been sidelined indefinitely and prevented from even associating his name with the No. 41 Toyota he’s driven since February.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Hot in Sprint Cup: 2009 Southern 500 Edition

If you are a sheetmetal supplier and you live in or near the Charlotte, N.C. area, congratulations – you are about to be very rich. The first ever springtime version of the Southern 500 may have been a potent mixture of high speeds on newer pavement – but it also led to the same danger …

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Southern 500

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members and car owners themselves. This week, here’s a peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com at Darlington Raceway.

Happy Hour: Tony Stewart is Making Me Look Like an Idiot – But Lesson Learned

Throughout the Richmond race, I was watching Ryan Newman run toward the front, lead and contend for the win in a Stewart-Haas Chevrolet. You know, those same Haas Chevrolets that consistently ran in the 30s as recently as last year. Those Haas cars that were as desperate to find driving talent as the driving talent …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Taming the Lady in Black

There aren’t many places where every driver, not just the rookies, is told “race the track, not the pack.” But that’s the only means of survival at Darlington Raceway, a unique combination of rim-riding and abrasive asphalt that’s among the most grueling 500-milers on the Sprint Cup circuit. The track itself may be Too Tough To Tame, but fantasy racing this egg-shaped circuit is no problem for the Frontstretch Fantasy Insiders. Read on to find out which drivers have the inside track to surviving the difficult track conditions they’ll face on Saturday night.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Crown Royal 400 at Richmond

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 …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Crown Royal 400 at Richmond Edition

Watching the running order during Saturday’s Richmond race was similar to watching a yoyo go up and down. Pit strategy, brake wear, copious amounts of cautions, timely adjustments, and good ol’ fashioned hard-nosed racing worked in harmony to jostle both the running positions and the points standings all throughout Saturday night’s event. In comparison to the race a week and a half ago at Talladega, there may not have been an underdog winner or a series of spectacular crashes, but the numerous swaps for the lead and the constant side-by-side racing back through the pack kept its flame of excitement alive.

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