As the NASCAR traveling circus made its way to Alabama last weekend for the running of the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, it was expected that the bubble drivers would do well entering Saturday's qualifying session. After all, the top eight spots for the fall race were taken up by teams outside the Top 35; in that event, their qualifying setups easily outpaced those "safely" in the field, who were more focused on a winning combination for Sunday.Read More »
10. A Roush Fenway internal memo titled "How To Get Into And Stay In The Top 35" in Michael Waltrip's back pocket.Read More »
As most of the Sprint Cup drivers took a week off from racing multi-colored cars in favor of cracking vibrant eggs, the rookie column was left on a little bit of an Easter Egg hunt of its own... trying to figure out how to fill this space for the week! Considering we're only five races into the season, it's a little too early to start grading the progress of the 2008 freshmen; considering their woeful start, this is probably a good thing. I'll save that for the halfway point of the season; in the meantime, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how the 2007 Rookie of the Year candidates have started out their second seasons in Cup. With a year under their belt, expectations are riding high for these five drivers, so let's see if they have been stepping up to the plate or succumbing to the dreaded "sophomore slump."Read More »
Mirror Driving: Tires Making You Pout? Will Carl’s Penalty Have Some Clout? & Mark Martin Spinning Someone Out?
After both California and Las Vegas, it seems that tire issues could be a problem with the new car on intermediate tracks. How can this be remedied before this safety issue gets out of hand?Read More »
Did You Notice? Money in NASCAR Makes a Difference, Stewart’s Unique Hairdo & Oddsmakers Don’t Know What They’re Doing?
Did You Notice? How insane Las Vegas security was this weekend? All I can tell you is that both the garage area and pit road were policed like any citizen within 50 feet of anyone important was about to incite a terrorist attack; it didn't matter whether you were a fan or had a hard card in your hand. I don't know what it is about Sin City, but it always seems to bring out the worst in both security and parking volunteers at the track. Vegas is also known for one of the worst traffic nightmares on the circuit, and this year was no exception, in part because of how the Speedway chose to route traffic out of the event. SAFER barriers aren't the only things that need to be added to this facility - some improved escape routes, competent temporary employees, and a few more lanes of highway around this track would be nice, too.Read More »
AJ Allmendinger's exit from the No. 84 was definitely a bit of a shock. Considering the sophomore was the first car left out at all three races this season, it's not like he was completely off the mark; in fact, the 93 owner points AJ accumulated leaves Team Red Bull just 119 out of a Top-35 spot, not an unattainable goal by any means. In fact, under the old qualifying rules from a few years back, Allmendinger would have made two of three races; he finished 13th in his Gatorade Duel and qualified 34th at Las Vegas (his team would still have been bitten by the California rainout last week).Read More »
With the win, Carl Edwards recorded Roush Fenway's fourth consecutive spring race win at the 2-mile oval, while Jimmie Johnson followed up his win in the fall race last year with a second-place run in his return to his home track. It was a long week for drivers, teams, and fans alike; but for some in particular, the weekend couldn't have been any longer. At the same time, other drivers followed up great runs at Daytona with solid efforts again this week, becoming some of the select few happy to be in Ontario in the first place. To see who was basking in the California sun Monday afternoon and who simply couldn't wait to get home, check out this week's edition of Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup.Read More »
Kyle "Rowdy" Busch took the checkered flag 1.415 seconds ahead of Todd Bodine to win the San Bernardino County 200 at the Auto Club Speedway Saturday afternoon. Busch took the lead for the final time when the field cycled through green-flag pit stops inside 20 laps to go. Johnny Benson, Terry Cook and 2007 champion Ron Hornaday Jr. rounded out the top five.Read More »
As the closing laps of the Daytona 500 came winding down, it was two drivers who hadn't necessarily been contenders for the majority of the race who teamed up for a 1-2 finish. The Penske cars of Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman are obviously two of the hottest cars coming out of Daytona, but who else is satisfied with their performance in the Great American Race? Who is already behind the eight-ball after just one race? Come in and find out in this week's edition of Who's Hot/Who's Not in Sprint Cup.Read More »
AJ Allmendinger didn't enjoy many of the highs he hoped for as a rookie on the Nextel Cup circuit, but there were a few golden nuggets in '07 for the former Champ Car driver. Allmendinger scored Rookie of the Race honors on two occasions, once at Charlotte in October (15th) and again two races later at Atlanta (16th). And while qualifying wasn't the strong suit of the No. 84, he did score a fifth-place start at Texas in November; that was the highlight of a stretch where he qualified for nine of the final 13 events of '07.Read More »