Race Weekend Central

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Michael McDowell Has Magnificent Return With Career-Best Finish

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: (Qualifying lineup set by points due to inclement weather) Regan Smith (29th), Sam Hornish Jr. (36th), Michael McDowell (38th), Patrick Carpentier (39th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: McDowell (20th), Smith (23rd), Carpentier (25th), Hornish (38th) Rookie of the Race: McDowell. After a three-race layoff, McDowell returned to the seat of the No. 00 …

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Bubble Breakdown: Michael McDowell Into Top 35; Dave Blaney Into Bud Shootout

Forget the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship – the drivers in our Bubble Breakdown are chasing a few goals of their own. With 10 races to go in the 2008 NASCAR season, the battle to be locked in the field for 2009 has become a dogfight for five spots between seven teams separated by …

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Bubble Breakdown: AJ Allmendinger Races Way Into Top 35 & the Bud Shootout

On Tuesday, NASCAR announced a new format to the season-opening Budweiser Shootout, and in doing so, gave several bubble teams something new to focus on. The new format now takes the top-six cars in owner points from each manufacturer. With the new format, the sixth Toyota to make the show is going to be a …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patrick Carpentier Keeps His Name in the Running for a 2009 Ride

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (fifth), Aric Almirola (10th), Regan Smith (25th), Sam Hornish Jr. (32nd), Marcos Ambrose (40th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Carpentier (18th), Almirola (30th), Hornish (31st), Ambrose (32nd), Smith (36th) Rookie of the Race: Carpentier. After missing the race last week in Bristol, Carpentier traveled to the West Coast as a man …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Aric Almirola Amazes Again at Bristol!

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Regan Smith (fourth), Aric Almirola (23rd), Sam Hornish Jr. (35th) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Almirola (13th), Smith (14th), Hornish (37th) Rookie of the Race: Almirola. For the second time this season, Almirola was behind the wheel of the No. 8 DEI Chevy at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The rookie came into this …

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Bubble Breakdown: Regan Smith Builds Cushion With 14th-Place Run

Once again, the half-mile bullring that is Bristol Motor Speedway proved to be too much for the teams sitting around the bubble. Only one driver ranked between 29th and 37th finished in the top 25; and for that same group of nine drivers, the average starting position was 29th and the finishing position 31st. To …

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Did You Notice? Jeff Gordon’s Sudden Slide, What NASCAR’s Schedule Hides & Hamlin’s Bad Side

A lot of shorter observations than usual, so I’m calling this the Odds ‘N’ Ends edition of Did You Notice this week… Did You Notice? That California Speedway’s date realignment on the 2009 Sprint Cup schedule did nothing to address the quality of racing at that facility? I will say the Labor Day date was always …

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Sprint Cup Rookie Report: Patrick Carpentier Strong but Sam Hornish Jr. Steals the Show at Michigan

Rookies in the Starting Lineup: Patrick Carpentier (sixth), Regan Smith (eighth), Sam Hornish Jr. (23rd), Marcos Ambrose (29th), Brad Coleman (43rd) Unofficial Finishing Positions: Hornish (22nd), Smith (29th), Carpentier (30th), Coleman (38th), Ambrose (43rd) Rookie of the Race: Hornish. On lap 2 of Sunday’s event, it certainly didn’t look like Hornish would be taking home rookie …

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