Race Weekend Central

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.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: It’s Not Just About Talent, It’s About a Winning Combination

With an even dozen races left in the season, it used to be that NASCAR’s so-called Silly Season, that time of year when drivers and teams announced partings of the ways and new contractual unions, was just heating up. In more recent years, Silly Season has started earlier and lasted longer than in the past. …

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Bubble Breakdown: Start & Parkers Still Chasing After NASCAR Dreams

With 12 races remaining in the 2010 NASCAR Cup season, two teams still have a realistic shot at re-entering the Top 35 in owner points: the No. 26 Latitude 43 Motorsports team and the No. 38 owned by Front Row Motorsports. Although both cars face an uphill battle to lock themselves into future races, they …

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5 Points to Ponder: The Cup Series We Know So Well… Stupidity & Mistakes Repeating Themselves

On the stats sheet, it’s hardly been a stellar Cup Series rookie campaign for Kevin Conway. Through 21 starts thus far in 2010, only four have resulted in top-30 finishes, and he’s ended races on the lead lap just three times: the two road courses and a 14th-place run at Daytona. Front Row Motorsports has had to make owner points swaps on a number of occasions to ensure that Conway, the slowest qualifier nearly every weekend, and his valuable Extenze sponsorship take the green flag on Sundays.

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. 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.

The Yellow Stripe: 9 Drivers Who Need a Reset Button… Now

The running of the Coke Zero 400 on the high banks of the most famous venue in stock car racing this past Saturday night marked the exact halfway point in the 36-race schedule. While I’m on the subject of the weekend’s crashfest, why on earth did Coke decide to call it the Coke Zero 400 …

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Bubble Breakdown: Front Row Fumbling Top-35 Spots Away – But Who Gets Them?

Last week’s race at Infineon brought the bubble battle into greater focus. Although he came up short of his first Cup win, Marcos Ambrose’s No. 47 finished a season-best sixth and gained 24 points of cushion on his rival. Four cars in front of Ambrose, Robby Gordon’s No. 7 managed to one-up the Tasmanian: a …

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Dialing It In: Reed Sorenson’s 2nd Chance Latest Twist in Red Bull Shakeup

Nearly a month ago, the entire Red Bull Racing organization was turned upside down with the news Brian Vickers would be forced to miss the remainder of the season due to treatments for blood clots. Vickers’s close friend Casey Mears was brought in as the replacement driver for the No. 83 team and, while hit …

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Did You Notice? How Michigan Saved Itself, Ringers Unemployed & Fixing Mark

Did You Notice? How Michigan’s attendance for the June race increased by 5,000 between 2009 and 2010? It’s an interesting twist during a year of continued attendance declines, especially considering the state unemployment rate, as of March 2010, was hovering just under 15%.

5 Points to Ponder: Hendrick Expanding His Reach?, Toyota’s Gone Jimmie & Red Bull Gone Wrong

Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway marked the second week of that tour’s standalone summer stretch and, not surprisingly, the second such race won by a Cup Series regular. And while ESPN’s telecast did pretty well to keep side-by-side action on the screen, showing more than Joey Logano while he laid waste to the field for much of the event, there were a lot of Nationwide Series regulars that in the span of three hours didn’t have their cars featured on TV.

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