Race Weekend Central

The Yellow Stripe: Sizing Up the Standings, What’s Left to Decide in 2008 for NASCAR’s Top-3 Series

And then there were five. There are just 33 days left (and 14 races across all three series) in the 2008 NASCAR season, and we’re getting inexorably closer to the time of year the prizes are handed out. So, with a little over a month left in the season, let’s take a look at where …

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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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Bubble Breakdown: Scott Riggs, Robby Gordon Post Top-10 Triumphs at ‘Dega

Not only is Talladega Superspeedway the wildcard in the Chase for the Cup, it’s also the wildcard in the Chase for the Top 35. ‘Dega has been defined by the big wreck that everyone knows is coming at some point, and a bubble team can make up an enormous amount of points by missing the …

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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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Bubble Breakdown: Michael Waltrip Gives Himself Top-35 Breathing Room with 2nd Top-10 Finish of 2008

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series made their second appearance at Dover International Speedway Sunday amidst rumors of bubble drivers wrecking each other in order to stay in the Top 35, and there is some evidence to back that up. With crashes involving Michael McDowell and AJ Allmendinger on several different occasions, the Chase for a …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Joey Logano Makes His Debut, But Aric Almirola Steals the Show

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: (Qualifying lineup set by points due to inclement weather) – Aric Almirola (15th), Regan Smith (29th), Michael McDowell (35th), Sam Hornish Jr. (36th), Patrick Carpentier (39th), Joey Logano (40th), Chad McCumbee (41st) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (18th), Smith (23rd), McDowell (27th), Hornish (30th), Carpentier (31st), Logano (32nd), McCumbee (42nd) Rookie of the …

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Who’s Going to Win It All? Our 2008 NASCAR Chase Predictions

The fifth edition of NASCAR’s Chase has three clear favorites: Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson. But in a system where 12 drivers are separated by just 80 points, anyone could come out on top in a playoff race that seldom goes according to plan. With so many drivers and so much at stake, how …

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