NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Voice of Vito: Is Petty Enterprises Circling the Drain?

This moment helped spur some thoughts of my own concerning another crumbling American institution – Petty Enterprises. Once the dominant force in NASCAR competition, it has, for some time now, been a struggling operation. Every two or three years, there is a renewed commitment to getting the team competitive, to once again make it a threat to win on race day; but sadly, these initiatives have never seemed to pan out. And now — after several failed attempts — there are stress cracks showing in the foundation of a team on the verge of possible destruction, especially after the events of the past week.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2008 Samsung 500 at Texas Edition

After two weeks of short-track racing, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the wide open spaces of Texas Motor Speedway for this weekend’s Samsung 500. They say things are often bigger and better in Texas; but that does that equate for success for your fantasy team? Read what our fantasy experts have to say in this week’s edition of Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans.

Did You Notice? Greg Biffle’s Bump, Penske in the Dumps & Multi-Car Expansion Trumps All

Did You Notice? In the wake of the RCR sponsorship announcement on their long-awaited fourth car, the widening gap in NASCAR between the haves and the have nots? Let’s assume for a second that Joey Logano does so well in the Nationwide Series this year, Joe Gibbs Racing chooses to start up their fourth team for the 2009 season. That means you would have no fewer than five organizations at the four-car limit: Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc., Roush Fenway Racing (five teams), Gibbs, and Childress. Behind them, you’d have another four programs with three cars, at least two of which are also looking to expand in 2009: Penske Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, and Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

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.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2008 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta

Now, the circuit heads back east; but don’t expect the change of scenery to stop this roller-coaster season just yet. The high speeds of Atlanta Motor Speedway, combined with the new car configuration, could present some challenges for more than a few teams — letting other surprises shine through the cracks in the process. So, which drivers will come out of the woodwork to help you keep the heat on your competition, and who’s on their way to crashing and burning once again? Read this week’s Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans to find out.

Fanning the Flames: Plotting The Forecast For Vegas, For Robby, And For Bobby Labonte

Matt, I have been watching NASCAR for close to 20 years and I am speechless over the events that happened on Sunday at California, oh, I’m sorry, Auto Club Speedway. Having been watching for what feels like a long time, I don’t ever remember NASCAR handling a weather problem with as much ineptitude as I witnessed at the Auto Club 500. Not only are California races boring to watch (don’t get me started on the Labor Day date!) but having to watch all day and all night (because I’m a fan of the sport and I’ll watch them race in quicksand if that is the case) just to see nothing but two crashes that should have and could have been avoided was just a senseless way to spend a Sunday. Could this whole ordeal have been avoided, or is this a problem that happens when the conditions are right?

2008 Season Preview: Who Is This Year’s Chase Surprise?

Today’s Season Preview Topic: Which driver is going to be the biggest surprise in the Chase this season?

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