Tag Archives: Casey Mears

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2011 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

For a team whose very existence was in serious doubt just a year ago, Richard Petty Motorsports showed flashes of a much brighter future at Charlotte. Both Marcos Ambrose (fifth) and AJ Allmendinger (seventh) posted top-10 results, while Allmendinger wasn’t too far away from contending for a Chase berth this year. Ambrose won his first Cup race as well this year, while AJ has been close - the No. 43 team may also win a consolation prize of 13th position in points. The consistency isn’t quite there to call them 2012 Chase contenders so early, but they have steadily improved… and beat some bigger, more established teams in the process.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2010 Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta

It’s not often that you see the series champion getting my praise, but this week that’s exactly what’s happening. Jimmie Johnson took home a third place, and while that’s not something that Johnson really needs to write home about, it’s his best finish since he won at Loudon in June. In that seven-race stretch, Johnson earned only one top-10 finish and finished outside of the top 25 three times. He might be the first driver to get my shoutout for simply not blowing it… again.

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The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2010 Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

Tony Stewart grabbed his second pole of the season this week, but he needed a late-race caution, or a miracle, to finish where he started. Stewart finished second to Greg Biffle for his third runner-up finish of 2010. Stewart also finished second at Bristol and Loudon. This is generally Stewart’s best time of year, and given his record at Watkins Glen (five wins and nine top-10 finishes in 11 starts), Stewart might not be settling for second next week.

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Did You Notice? Admirable NASCAR Underdogs, The Power Of Motivation, And Chase Boredom… Already

*Did You Notice?* … The stars of Speedweeks so far (with the exception of Mark Martin) have been drivers with something to prove? After a miserable 2009 that ended with an all-but-public pronouncement he’s leaving RCR after 2010, *Kevin Harvick* won the Bud Shootout, with fellow free-agent-to-be *Kasey Kahne* right behind him in second. *Jamie McMurray,* who was dumped by Roush and signed a one-year deal with Chip Ganassi that’s “make or break” for his career – finished third. That followed a pole qualifying session where *Dale Earnhardt, Jr.* began his “Recovery 2010” tour by putting himself on the outside of the front row.

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Fantasy Insider: How To Clip The Competition At Kansas

_With the Northeast leg of the Chase tour now behind us, the Sprint Cup Series heads to where the title will be decided...the intermediate, cookie cutter ovals. Unlike the first two tracks on the circuit that have seen their share of unpredictability both this season and in seasons past, the Kansas Speedway will likely see the usual suspects up front early and often. Just like the teams with big budgets will own the competition this weekend, the big names of the sport will be the focus of fantasy team owners. Who's a bargain and who's a ripoff? Leave it to the Frontstretch Fantasy Insider to keep you informed._

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Five Points to Ponder: 2009 AAA 400 at Dover Edition

Who can we effectively eliminate from the title picture?* The Chase may have just begun, but already we can see the cream rise to the top when it comes to legitimate championship contenders this season. Sure, Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson have established themselves as the favorites, but on the opposite end of the spectrum drivers like Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers saw their chances take a big hit with sub-par runs. So can we eliminate anybody from the championship picture yet? Of course. Kasey Kahne had a solid 8th place effort, but still lost points to the championship leaders and is now 189 points out. He’s out. Carl Edwards was flat out pedestrian today – somewhat surprising considering his success at concrete tracks – and remains winless, 153 points out. Cross him off. Brian Vickers came home 18th and Team Red Bull just seems happy to be in the Chase. It’s not going to happen. Greg Biffle had a mediocre by Chase standards 13th place finish at Dover, is winless on the year and is showing no signs of being a threat. He’s out.

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Did You Notice? Liquor’s Love Affair Turned Divorce, Throwing Caution To The Wind, And Finding Earnhardt

*Did You Notice?* … NASCAR is so quick to throw a caution for “debris,” yet so hesitant when there’s actual danger on the race track? The first Chase race came packaged with its share of debris yellows; a total of three cautions that threatened to change the outcome of the race. Yet during the last lap, when A.J. Allmendinger’s car was stalled in the middle of the front straightaway, NASCAR held off until the cars were coming off of Turn 4 to throw the caution flag – a situation that left a number of drivers themselves scratching their heads.

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Sylvania 300 at Loudon

_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 they all were thinking following the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:_ "Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) won that race--that's all I got to say. He took a driver that can't drive Loudon and put a set-up in it that we could run along reasonable. This is a very frustrating race track. I can't believe we won that race. It couldn't be easy. We had to have three caution restarts and all kinds of chances for me to mess up. And I did, but just, I guess, not enough to lose." _Mark Martin_

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Chase Elimination Edition

Maybe Kyle Busch smashing that Sam Bass-crafted guitar earlier this year was bad luck after all. Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway proved to play a different tune than Busch’s preference, though the racing Gods left enough light at the end of the tunnel for the No. 18 team to almost taste the Chase rainbow. But Brian Vickers and upstart Team Red Bull had other ideas, with Busch's newly formed foe getting just enough leeway to qualify for its first ever playoff. Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth had just enough of a gap between himself, Busch, and Vickers to run midpack and still make the Chase, but instead fought a mighty ill-handling No. 17 en route to missing his first 10-race playoff since the Chase began in 2004. As that drama line played out, Denny Hamlin put on another driving school lasting until the closing bell, claiming a Sprint Cup victory for the first time at his home track.

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