NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Lifelock 400 at Michigan Edition

“Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire,” may very well have been the lyrics Jimmie Johnson was banging his head to as his dominant No. 48 Chevy sputtered to the finish of Sunday’s LifeLock 400. The three-time champ absolutely dominated at Michigan, only surrendering the lead after the final pit …

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Bubble Breakdown: Fuel Mileage Plays Into the Hands of a Trio of Bubble Teams

Fuel mileage was again the name of the game for the second week in a row this past Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. As some of the top-15 teams dried up late and faded, three of our bubble teams were able to surge ahead as they went into conservation mode soon enough to stretch their gas tanks to the checkered flag. Which trio was able to ride it out to the finish? Read on to find out in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Coca-Cola 600

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR and all of our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing 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 car owners themselves. This week, here’s a peek at what the drivers were thinking following the rain shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Appreciating The Lady in Black

This week, the Cup circuit heads to Darlington, South Carolina for what will regrettably be its only stop at the “Track Too Tough To Tame” this season. Even given the awkward eve of Mother’s Day race date that no other track ever wanted, the fact they’ll be racing there this weekend still makes my heart …

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Is 2009 the Re-Emergence of the Single-Car Team?

Maybe it’s just a fluke streak of performances early on in the season, a product of two of three races featuring higher than average attrition – or maybe the CoT and testing prohibitions are starting to level the playing field a tad. But whatever the cause, 2009 has so far showcased a level of competitiveness from single-car teams that the Cup ranks have not seen in a while… and this is excellent news for the sport on a variety of levels.

Voices from the Heartland: Time for the “Old Men” to Show “The Boys” a Thing or 2 at Daytona!

I still think that “whooshing” sound is pretty cool – but after many of the practice sessions we’ve had thus far at Daytona, I find that I am a bit more excited about the race than usual. The source of this excitement is simple: the “old guys!” Guys like Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin… and yes, I will even throw Jeff Gordon in there. To a lesser extent there is Terry Labonte, Jeff Burton and maybe even Tony Stewart. Each of these drivers, in their own way, has me cautiously surfing a small swell of enthusiasm as we head into the first race of the new year.

Side by Side: Should The Champion’s Provisional Be Dropped?

Today’s Question: With the Daytona 500 the equivalent to NASCAR’s “Super Bowl,” should they automatically save a spot for a former champion who can’t qualify into the field any other way? Or should the rule be relaxed and another, faster driver installed in their place?

Bowles-Eye View: 5 Feel-Good Stories Giving The Great American Race An Unexpected Boost

Heading into Speedweeks, Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 1 on the side of his Chevy was synonymous with the one piece left alone from a desperation merger. Now, that “1” stands for something far more exciting – Daytona 500 polesitter – closing out a weekend that’s given hope to people looking for some different faces up front next Sunday. “The guys felt good about this all winter,” Truex said after pulling what had to be labeled a minor upset. “They’ve felt like they’ve had a shot at coming down here and sitting on the front row for the 500. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to sit in that seat and drive that thing.”

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