Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix Edition

Good finish For all the talk of anti-climactic races this season, NASCAR was fortunate to have an exciting finish this weekend at Phoenix. Sure, there were long green-flag runs throughout the race, and clean air provided such an advantage that Dale Earnhardt Jr. couldn’t compete without it – but there were several moments that made …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Keeping Your Team Hot in Phoenix’s Dry Heat

After a week off to regenerate the batteries and fatten up on Peeps and chocolate, the series is heading to the desert Southwest. The quirky 1-mile oval outside of Phoenix tests the drivers and the teams to come up with a setup that can handle the tight turns 1 and 2 as well as the …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Are NASCAR’s Cost Cuts Helping or Just Another Smokescreen?

NASCAR recently announced that the sanctioning body would now conduct postrace engine teardowns at their Concord facility, the latest in a series of measures designed to cut costs. I’m not really sure how this one saves teams any money, unless NASCAR is planning on delivering the inspected engines to the teams they were taken from. …

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5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

The streak is over How fitting is it that Jeff Gordon’s 47-race winless streak comes to an end at a track where he’s been winless for his entire career? Gordon was strong for much of the race, but it was a combination of a good pit stop by the No. 24 bunch and yet another …

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Samsung 500 at Texas

Who… gets my shoutout of the race? I never thought it would be this good, this fast. But Tony Stewart has made the turnaround at Stewart-Haas Racing so fast it makes your head spin. While Ryan Newman needs a little more help to get up to speed, Stewart has shown his true mettle as a …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: 5 Bars for Fantasy Teams in Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, they say, and the Texas Motor Speedway certainly is considerably larger than the short tracks the Cup circuit has tackled these last few weeks. With the pending return to an intermediate oval, expect speeds to go up and the margin for error in race setups to go down. But with the …

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Voice of Vito: The Season Ahead – Martinsville Serves as NASCAR’s True Test of Legitimacy

I have always maintained that Martinsville is the true litmus test for the opening months of the NASCAR season. Daytona is the Super Bowl of motorsports, and it is easy to get caught up in the hype of the grandest race on the schedule. A win can make a season or define a career (just …

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Did You Notice? What Jimmie Johnson’s Hiding, Why Patience for NASCAR Owners Pays Off & Driver Depression

Did You Notice? During a garage walkthrough on Friday, the newest edition to Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 cloak of secrecy? It was a dark-blue drape placed over his stall inside the garage area, meaning no one walking by could see what they were doing to set up the car. In the team’s defense, the forecast …

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Mirror Driving: Killing the Competition Caution?, Brainstorming New Sponsors & Jimmie Johnson vs. Denny Hamlin… NOT!

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: Tom Bowles (Editor-In-Chief; Mondays/Bowles-Eye View & Wednesdays/Did You Notice?) Beth Lunkenheimer (Tuesdays/Running Your …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville

With their bumping and banging for the lead on Sunday, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson were able to make big gains up the Power Rankings ladder. But were they enough to push Jeff Gordon off the top spot? Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton were among those who took it on the chin at this …

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