NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Bubble Breakdown: Petty Enterprises Coming Dangerously Close To Top-35 Cliff

The two-car battle for the 35th and final position in owner points is close to becoming a three-team race – and that new third team is a team that’s slumping rather than one stepping up as the season nears its stretch run. While its sister car streaked to a second straight top 10 finish at Bristol, the No. 45 from Petty Enterprises seems to have been left behind. The Dodge continues to struggle each and every week, whether it’s Kyle Petty, Chad McCumbee, or Kenny Wallace behind the wheel – a 32nd-place run for Wallace at Bristol is the team’s best finish in five weeks, with results of 41st, 42nd, 33rd and 41st coming in the previous four races. That has left the team dangerously on the edge of falling into the grasp of teams below them.

Bubble Breakdown: Bill Elliott vs. Dave Blaney – The Top-35 Battle Heats Up

As the haulers left Watkins Glen a little over one week ago, the most disappointed team was clearly the No. 22 Bill Davis entry that had just had its bubble burst by Boris Said who piloted the No. 21 to a 14th-place finish and passed the No. 22 into the Top 35 in car owner points. While it was a long weekend at Michigan for every Cup team, with rain postponing the race two consecutive days, it was an even longer week for the No. 22 who had to prepare to qualify for the race on time. The pressure that Dave Blaney had to feel on Friday did not phase the Toyota driver who posted the 17th-fastest time of the session.

Running Their Mouth: 2007 3M Performance 400 at Michigan Rain Delay

Each week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race to capture the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking during the rain delays for the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Bubble Breakdown: Wood Brothers Racing Benefits From NASCAR’s Stubbornness

One day after rain washed out qualifying sending road-course ace Boris Said and the No. 60 SoBe No Fear Racing team home, Bill Elliott generously offered his Wood Brothers seat to Said in an effort to move the No. 21 car back into the Top 35. It was the second straight race in a span of two months that Said was not even given the opportunity to qualify for the event because of mother nature, NASCAR’s pitiful Top 35 rule and lack of effort to alter the schedule to fit in qualifying. Although he got a ride in the end Said wasn’t afraid to voice his frustrations about what NASCAR’s ruling did to his good friend and car owner Mark Simo. “For a part-time team, you don’t get to race that much, and two races in a row get taken away. I don’t understand why the schedule can’t be adjusted and just qualify tomorrow when it’s going to be sunny,” he said. “It’s just hard for a small team. It pretty much puts us out of business. It puts me out of business. It’s just a lot of income lost.”

Bubble Breakdown: Ricky Rudd Pulls Away, Bill Elliott Pulls Closer in Top-35 Race

With Indianapolis creating a whole new ballgame for the Top 35 in points, the cars battling for the final spot in the bubble came to Pocono bound and determined to bang and beat their way into a “locked-in” spot. But in the end, all the jockeying for position on the track didn’t lead to a change in the standings… while the gap between 35th and 36th narrowed considerably, the same 35 teams remain eligible to receive an automatic qualifying exemption heading to Watkins Glen.

Bubble Breakdown: Confused by Top-35 Fallout From Ginn, DEI Merger? 1 Toyota Team Knows The Answer

The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series may be midway through its season, but the battle for the Top 35 is now the most competitive it’s been since the first five races of the year. Following the merger between Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., the No. 13 team, currently 35th in owner points, was eliminated; that took them out of a “locked-in” qualifying spot and gave several teams that were struggling new opportunities to be successful. When you take the No. 13 out of the equation – the team is no longer attempting every race, which no longer makes them eligible to be “locked-in” – the gap between the new 35th and 36th shrunk considerably.

Bubble Breakdown: Little Change in Top-35 Picture as Gap Widens to 225 Points

With the Daytona debacle now in the rearview mirror, the battle for the Top 35 in car owner points continued this week in Chicagoland; but after an uneventful day for the majority of the cars on the bubble, little changed as far as positions go. In fact, the gap between 35th and 36th place is …

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Racing at the Beach: Curses Are Broken, 1994-2000

When the Winston Cup crews arrived at Daytona for the kick off event of the 1994 season, one of the track’s favorite sons had been lost. Davey Allison, who had been part of those memorable finishes of 1988 and 1992, had lost his life in a helicopter accident the previous summer. Ernie Irvan had signed on to drive the Havoline Ford, Davey made famous, leaving the Morgan-McClure team that had helped him claim the 1991 Daytona 500.

Racing at the Beach: Out With the Old & In With the New, 1986-1990

For Dale Earnhardt fans, the 1986 Daytona 500 is one of the “big ones that got away.” Earnhardt had a strong week, but the bad luck at Daytona he shared with Darrell Waltrip and Buddy Baker reared its ugly head again.

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