NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Voice of Vito: The Southern 500 & Darlington – Same As It Ever Was, Only Different

Darlington, South Carolina. You’d be hard pressed to find it on a map; but say the name, and instantly a flurry of iconic imagery comes flooding forward; Cale Yarborough sailing out of the track over the guardrail; Richard Petty hanging halfway out of the window of his battered Plymouth as it tumbles down the frontstretch; …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Southern 500

The Track Too Tough to Tame may have a new surface, but she’s that same old fickle girl. The rankings may not have taken a DNF at Darlington, but they certainly earned their stripe with the list all scrambled after 500 miles there Saturday night. Former champions are hogging the top of the charts, but as you’ll see this week, our experts didn’t ignore a promising rookie who survived the Lady in Black. Read on to see if your driver stayed off of the wall or ended up in the minnow pond this weekend during the Southern 500.

Running Their Mouth: 2009 Southern 500

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 Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com at Darlington Raceway.

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Southern 500 at Darlington Edition

In the same week that Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for violating the sport’s substance abuse policy, NASCAR one-upped the stick-and-ball sport by suspending former NASCAR race winner Jeremy Mayfield indefinitely for the same violation. Mayfield claims that the combination of prescribed medication and an over the counter drug triggered the negative result; but in today’s era of positive tests in other sports and half-hearted and often bogus excuses, you have to take his with a grain of salt.

Sprint Cup Rookie Report: The Lady in Black Can’t Take a Bite Out of “Sliced Bread”

No one will argue that the 2009 rookie contenders have not done much this season to get anyone excited. Sure, there were a bunch of top 10s recorded at Talladega, which were impressive in their own right; but still, as Logano said himself… it was Talladega. After Saturday night, though, Logano has taken one giant step forward in illustrating that the Class of ’09 will in fact make some noise this year. Not only did he tie his best career finish at Darlington, but he did it at one of the most difficult circuits on the schedule. The No. 20 team has a history of not “waking up” until later in the season; and if that still holds true with their new driver, we may be seeing just the beginning of several impressive runs from this teenager moving forward.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington

Just another Friday night Nationwide Series race in 2009… or so it seemed. Kyle Busch took the lead early, ran away from the field, and stunk up the show at Darlington, leading all but 10 of the laps run in the 200-miler. But despite his best efforts, the 24-year-old did not take one step closer …

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Mirror Driving: Does TV Owe NASCAR Underdogs? Grading the Childress Crew Swap & Nationwide Surprises

Kyle Busch scored his 50th win NASCAR Cup, Nationwide and Truck competition with last weekend’s two victories at Richmond. Busch says he wants to get to 200 to “beat” Richard Petty’s mark. Can he get there?

Holding a Pretty Wheel: 2nd & 3rd Fiddle Sharing 1 Bow is a Sour Note

I think it’s one of Murphy’s Laws (Murphy, I never knew you, but you were one hell of a pessimist, huh?) that just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, someone surprises you. Of course, this is NASCAR we’re talking about, the sanctioning body that has come up with so ways to fix something …

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Nuts for Nationwide: The Heroes of Tomorrow Really Are Racing Today

In an interview I did with Mike Bliss at Charlotte last year, the Nationwide Series veteran gave me one quote that I have never forgotten during my time covering the Nationwide Series. “Sponsors want that brand name, [a] Carl Edwards, to do all the shows. Well, you can find another driver and build another hero.” …

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