Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Sam Hornish Jr. Rips Off 1st Top 10 of 2009, Solidifies Locked-In Spot

Bad news has hit one of our bubble teams since the last race at Texas. After several patchwork sponsorship deals to keep the team afloat through March, the No. 8 Chevrolet driven by Aric Almirola has been shut down due to a lack of funding. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing plans to bring everyone back once sponsorship …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? It might have been the most unnoticed top-10 finish of the night, but Sam Hornish Jr. grabbed his career-best finish at Phoenix with his unheralded ninth-place result. It was Hornish’s first top-10 finish in Sprint Cup competition and the second top 10 in this race for owner Roger …

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Bubble Breakdown: Paul Menard Showing Signs of Life While Joey Logano Remains Lifeless

Optimism ran rampant amongst several bubble drivers this weekend as Paul Menard, Sam Hornish Jr. and Joey Logano all posted top-12 qualifying runs. But qualifying pays no points and Texas is a big, fast, nasty track that some of the best drivers have yet to master. So, as the race began questions loomed for those with …

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Edition

As the 2009 season wears on, some of the teams that have had early success are finding themselves in a points standings freefall. As they disappear from view, the composition of the top 12 is starting to take form, with annual contenders slowly creeping towards and into that coveted threshold. The season may be early …

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Bubble Breakdown: Team Penske Rebounds From Poor Daytona 500 Performances

NASCAR’s top series headed out west to start a two-race stint on the left coast beginning with the first stop of the year at the Auto Club Speedway in California. With this just the second race of the season, the race to get into the Top 35 is a complete mess, with teams jumping way …

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Bubble Breakdown: Sorting Through Who’s Locked In & Locked Out at Daytona

You’d think that over the offseason, it’d be hard for the Top-35 situation to change as no one would be accumulating any more points. But in an offseason filled with teams folding, merging and selling off their locked-in places on the starting grid, the landscape of Who’s In and Who’s Out looks completely different than …

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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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Mirror Driving: Auctioning Off Daytona, Bud Shootout Blues & Playing Cupid with Crew Chiefs

Welcome to Mirror Driving. Every week, your favorite columnists sit down and give their opinion about the latest NASCAR news and rumors. Love us or hate us, make a comment below and tell us how you feel about what we’ve said! This Week’s Participants: Vito Pugliese (Wednesdays/Voice of Vito) Beth Lunkenheimer (Tuesdays/Running Your Mouth & Various/Frontstretch Truck …

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Voice of Vito: America’s Most Wanted – Top-5 NASCAR Drivers to Watch in 2009

Editor’s Note: Catch Vito on a new day this season – his column will appear each Wednesday throughout all of 2009. Finally. After a NASCAR offseason that seemed to last longer than it ever has in previous years – due in large part to a virtual ban on preseason testing and a harsh winter of …

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