NASCAR Race Weekend Central

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2008 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard

1. Yuck! – Max Mosley, President of the governing body that oversees Formula 1 racing — the most widely followed form of automobile racing in the world — won a breach or privacy lawsuit against a British tabloid this week. The magazine ran a story about the 68-year old’s sexual escapades that quickly got picked up by the international press, including one that included a role playing scenario which appeared to have Nazi overtones behind it. The Judge, in awarding $120,000 in damages to the F1 head said, “There was bondage, beating and domination, which seem to be typical of S&M behavior.”

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Pre-Brickyard 400 Edition

As teams approach one of the most prestigious races in the Sprint Cup Series and fans and drivers are refreshed following a rare off weekend, it’s a perfect opportunity to recognize some of the streakiest drivers heading into this year’s Brickyard 400. Of course, one man has been in a league of his own all season – but another driver has surprised in mirroring Kyle Busch’s points total over the past nine races. Who is that famous wheelman giving Busch a run for his money? And who’s season is suddenly running on life support after a strong early start? See who are some of the worst drivers in the series as of late, and who has an opportunity to kiss the bricks on Sunday by checking out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.

The Yellow Stripe: Drought Busters – Who’s Gone the Longest Without a Trip to Victory Lane?

Over the last couple of years Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered his own version of an epic drought, as NASCAR’s most famous son hadn’t won a race for more than two whole seasons. While Earnhardt finally got his win — a fuel-mileage triumph at Michigan on June 15th — the streak lasted for a stretch of some 76 races, or 404 days for those so mathematically inclined. It’s fair to say the “Dale Jr. Drought” did not have the financial and societal effects of the Dust Bowl, but for those caught up in both — the workers so graphically depicted in Steinbeck’s tome and Junior Nation — it must have felt, for a while at least, as if it was never going to end. But end both did; and surprisingly enough, in each case the world continued to revolve safely on its axis.

Did You Notice? The Unbreakable Car, the Unbearable All-Star Rules & Sophomore Success

Did You Notice? The degree to which the Car of Tomorrow’s durability stepped it up a notch on Saturday night? There’s no questioning the new car has better durability, but the amount of vehicles who walked away from serious problems with the wall – especially turn 2 – was unprecedented for the Lady in Black. Kyle Busch was the biggest offender of the CoT luck bank at Darlington, slamming the fence so many times you’d think his car would have been mincemeat by sometime around lap 150. But Busch held on, and so did several others as the DNF total for Darlington stood at just two when the race was over; and neither one of those problems was due to a crash.

Fanning the Flames: All Darlington, All the Time

Q: What are we to expect from the newly repaved Darlington Raceway? If speeds are up like they were in the tire tests, will it make it harder for drivers to pass? And what about the excessive tire wear? Is that still a concern, or has the repave taken care of that?

Mirror Driving: Mexico’s Blown Save, Jon Wood… Savior? & Saving Excitement at Talladega

The Sprint Cup Series was idle this week while the Nationwide Series teams went to Mexico City. Given the huge cost of the trip, should it be the other way around? Is it time for the Cup Series to have a race out of the country?

Did You Notice? Jamie McMurray vs. Casey Mears, The Woods Shedding Tears & More

Did You Notice? There’s a difference between the problems faced by Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray, both of whom have had disastrous seasons. Mears’ issues have been partially based on overaggression. He crashed at Daytona making the wrong move at the wrong time going for the lead, then again at Bristol when he smashed into leader Denny Hamlin while trying to get his lap back. How much can you fault a driver for going overboard, giving it all he’s got? Then again, is three wrecks in five weeks too much? That’s the question for Hendrick moving forward.

10 Points To Ponder… After the 2008 Food City 500 at Bristol

1) Can’t Get Much Simpler – Last Friday’s rainout of qualifying for the Food City 500 required NASCAR to fall back to its rulebook for determining the lineup. It’s one of the more complex plans ever created, so let’s see if we can work through it together…

Thompson in Turn 5: 5 Good NASCAR Role Models

It seems like every couple of weeks during the season, the headline the day after a Sprint Cup event announcing the race winner is shared by either the newest physical altercation, one driver “trash talking” another, or unnecessary rough driving being committed by a competitor. Although I do believe NASCAR attempts to keep behavior at an “acceptable” level, I am not naive enough to understand that the sanctioning body knows a little public controversy can be good, as long as people spell the name right (note to the stick and ball reporters out there: it’s spelled N-A-S-C-A-R). Anyways, as long as I hold onto that belief, it makes it easier for me to understand why the sport does not put a stop to about 90% of such shenanigans. It certainly is not because they the sport is helpless to reign in their “bad actors.” We all know they can do that!

But still…they don’t. And judging by Brian France’s comments in January, in which he claimed the sport “needed to get back to its roots,” I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

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