NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Charlotte Fall Race Edition

Jeff Gordon – Gordon has won here four times, including the 1994 World 600 to score his first ever Cup series victory. (Has it really been 13 years? Wow). But he’s in a pronounced slump at LMS right now, having failed to finish the last five points races here.

10 Points To Ponder… After the 2007 UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega

1. Masterful Move – Jeff Gordon clearly demonstrated not only why he has 80 career Cup wins, but is now in sole possession of the title “most career plate wins” in NASCAR history. Gordon turned a push from Dave Blaney into a sweet move to the middle, getting out from behind teammate Jimmie Johnson to sneak away with the victory. Tucking his rear bumper just in front of a charging Tony Stewart, Gordon gave Stewart no choice but to push him to the win. Gordon now has 12 restrictor plate wins, passing the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., who had 11.

Bowles-Eye View: Can Cup Drivers Bring Restrictor Plates to Their Knees?

Sunday afternoon’s event was the first for the Car of Tomorrow at a restrictor plate track – but the race wasn’t as notable for the different type of car as it was for differing strategies. Last week, conserving fuel was on the agenda for Kansas; this time around, it was just downright going slow. That’s right, as slow as you possibly could without losing the draft.

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Talladega Fall Race Edition

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson has been on a roll at Talladega as of late: he won here last spring and finished second in April. He almost won last fall’s Talladega event, as well; that is, before former teammate Brian Vickers crashed the little party Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson were staging on the final lap of the race. Johnson was miffed for a long time after that, but don’t expect it to be a problem this year – Vickers is in a Toyota and might not even qualify for the race.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not: Outside the Chase After the 2007 Lifelock 400 at Kansas

With the spotlight on the top 12 drivers in the standings each week, it’s sometimes easy to forget that 31 others take to the track each weekend in pursuit of a long-sought after victory… but that’s what the purpose of this column is for. With another Chase race under our belts, it’s time to take a look at how some of the non-Chasers performed in Kansas this past weekend. Now, to say Sunday’s race was crazy would be a bit of an understatement; weather, accidents, and plain bad luck ruined the days of many participants. As a result, seven of the Chasers experienced trouble, leaving many of those not in the NASCAR playoffs available to steal the headlines. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not, Non-Chase style…

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Lifelock 400 at Kansas Edition

Jeff Gordon – Gordon won the first two Cup races at Kansas and finished fifth in his third start at the track. He hasn’t had a top five here since then, though, and last year suffered a mechanical DNF.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2007 Lifelock 400 at Kansas Edition

Week three of the Chase finds the traveling road show in the Heartland of America at Kansas Speedway, the newest of the “cookie-cutter” tracks that have come to dominate the schedule in recent years. When it comes to intermediates, there’s one other thing to be aware of; they’re usually the type of racetrack where history repeats itself. Because of that, we’ve gone back through the history books, ready to drop some knowledge from the past to help your future for this week’s edition of Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans.

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Dover Fall Race

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson won both Cup races at Dover in 2002, as well as this event in 2005. He has top-10 finishes in seven of 11 Cup starts here – but has missed the mark the last two times out.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2007 Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover Edition

With the playoffs moving full steam ahead towards round 2 this weekend, the strategy for your team shouldn’t change all that much. While the Monster Mile has been known to cause damage to its fair share of racecars, it usually doesn’t take too much of a toll on Chase contenders. One or two will most likely take a hit, but the majority will be near the front and finish in the top 15 or better. Which ones have that extra leg up on the rest of their playoff competition, though? Find out in this week’s edition of Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans.

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