NASCAR Race Weekend Central

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol

It’s kind of weird to give a shoutout to the same guy who wound up this race’s villain, but you can’t really vote against Paul Menard here. Menard raced near the top of the pack all day long, leading early and finishing a respectable fifth, the best in the Richard Childress stable. Whether the success he’s had early this year will be long-term remains to be seen; Menard has shown flashes of brilliance before but not a lot of staying power in the long-term talent department. Still, other than tangling with one of NASCAR’s most respected veterans, he ran a great race at Bristol.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Daytona 500

When he caused the first wreck, a one-car deal with only Kyle Busch suffering the consequences, Michael Waltrip actually might have been loved for spinning out NASCAR’s bad boy. But for his encore, Waltrip ran over his own driver, David Reutimann, and the aftermath involved several teams who, unlike Waltrip’s, are actual championship contenders and will now be behind for weeks as a result. Perhaps staying retired would have been a wise chose for the former two-time Daytona 500 winner; the race could have been a feel-good story for Waltrip, who won this race 10 years ago, but he left half the field not feeling too good at all.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in NASCAR: 2010 Richmond-New Hampshire Edition

In the words of Jim Mora: “Playoffs! You want to talk about playoffs? You kidding me?” That’s the reaction of the majority of the NASCAR fanbase nowadays, but like it or not, the seventh edition of the postseason format is finally upon us. Has it really been that long since Matt Kenseth lulled us to …

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Bubble Breakdown: Front Row Version 2.0 Making a Move at Atlanta

Less than a week after Kevin Conway and sponsor ExtenZe left Front Row Motorsports’ No. 34 team, drivers Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland and Tony Raines quietly salvaged finishes inside the top 30 at Bristol to move all three of their teams more than 20 points away from the bubble. Sliding closer to trouble was none …

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Grading the 2010 NASCAR Pack, Part III: Drivers Brad Keselowski – Brian Vickers

With the NASCAR season two-thirds of the way gone and the final off week now out of our way, we’re taking a brief moment of respite, grading all the drivers and teams once again on their performance so far in 2010. Tuesday, we covered an owner-by-owner breakdown of season results so far… all of which you …

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Bubble Breakdown: Front Row Motorsports Regroups at Brutal Bristol

Last week at Michigan, Elliott Sadler ended a nine month top-10 drought and amassed a season high 375-point cushion on the bubble. Regan Smith and Scott Speed also turned heads on race day by parlaying pit strategy into a pair of top-25 finishes while Sam Hornish Jr. continued a steady seven-race gain. But behind these …

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Bubble Breakdown: Elliott Sadler Bounces Back After Brutal Pocono Wreck, Top-35 Notes

Tremendous point swings marked last week’s chapter of the 2010 Top-35 battle as the twists and turns of Watkins Glen stirred up the standings. While Marcos Ambrose earned a season-best third-place finish and 90 points of cushion, Scott Speed plummeted 46 points down into bubble danger with the first last-place finish in his young Cup …

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Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2010 Pocono Summer Race Recap

Greg Biffle and the No. 16 team chose to go with two tires on their final stop at Pocono, made with 30 laps to go under a yellow flag. Shortly after the restart, Biffle was able to get his car into the lead – and clean air – then drove off from the pack.

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