Race Weekend Central

Mirror Driving: Martin’s Mortal Blow, Regan’s Risk & Tackling Top-Tier Ticket Prices

Both Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson gambled and lost on fuel mileage at Michigan and both slipped in the points, with Martin now only 12 points inside the Chase bubble. Why would teams at that level take the chance, and will the mistake be fatal to Martin’s Chase chances or hurt Johnson’s strategy for Fontana in the playoffs?

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Diamonds in the Rough – 5 Drivers Having a Great 2009, Not That You’ve Seen It On TV

NASCAR broadcasts these days are, as many fans complain, not exactly equitable in how they dole out airtime to drivers. While one guy (you fill in the name) will be on TV throughout the broadcast no matter where he is running, another (fill in that guy, too) might be having a great run-and you hardly …

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2009 Driver Report Cards, Part II: Grading Dale Jr. & The Rest

Continuing on from yesterday’s review, it’s time for Professors Danny and Tom to grade those drivers sitting at the back of the class. Whether it’s some bad racing luck, poor chemistry with a crew chief, or just plain awful driving, most of these guys from 21st on back have endured a season they’d like to forget. As the upcoming summer stretch heats up, those unlucky enough to be a part of this list won’t be fighting to make the Chase; instead, they’ll be working to save their jobs, explaining to unhappy sponsors and owners how things didn’t go as planned. But in the midst of this group are a handful of diamonds in the rough, wheelmen overachieving with single-car teams overmatched from the start against the multi-car powerhouses. Just which of these underdogs stood out above the rest? Read below to find out as our two-part midseason report card series comes to a close.

Mirror Driving: Double-File Disaster?, Ford’s Floundering Season & Gibbs Dominance… In Nationwide

After several late incidents at Chicagoland Speedway, several drivers blamed the double-file restarts for the problem. Was it the rule or the drivers themselves at the root of the problems on Saturday night?

Holding a Pretty Wheel: Life is a Team Sport, But is NASCAR?

We’ve all heard it: the winning driver in victory lane, thanking his teammates, without whom he surely could not have prevailed. Well, OK, maybe not in those exact words, because he’d sound like a dork, but you know the drill. Thank those teammates! So, how important are those teammates, really? In a perfect world, of …

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Beyond the Cockpit: Casey Mears on Routines, RCR & Diapering 101

It’s been an eventful year for Casey Mears. When we last talked with the 31-year-old veteran, he was just beginning a long list of changes that would come to define his 2009 season. Besides mulling a change of scenery – eventually moving from Hendrick Motorsports to RCR this February – Casey was in the midst of becoming a father for the first time. But while life off the track couldn’t be better, Mears’s debut season at RCR has proven to be a far more difficult transition than expected. Amy Henderson caught up with the driver of the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet to talk about those struggles, his own personal crew chief carousel, and the joys of being a parent.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon Edition

Joey Logano stole some history at New Hampshire on Sunday, becoming the youngest driver to win a Sprint Cup race by not pitting his No. 20 Home Depot Toyota during the last round of pit stops, taking a gamble and hoping for rain at his home track. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli’s decision quickly made up for Logano’s run-in with Ryan Newman, as well as the resulting flat tire and spin that resulted from it midway through the race. But while Logano’s upset victory continues to be the big story, there were a few other upstart runs, as well, considering that rained-out qualifying placed the top points contenders in the top-starting positions.

The Big 6: Questions Answered After the 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon

Watching his old car win. Still, Tony Stewart had plenty to smile about after taking his backup car to a fifth-place finish. The No. 14 Chevrolet was off the pace early, but once again Stewart teamed up with crew chief Darian Grubb to make the right changes capable of bringing the Old Spice Chevy back to the front; and just before the final round of pit stops on lap 235, Stewart had put himself both in the lead and in position to win. In the end, the two-time champ lost a handful of points to Jeff Gordon in the standings, but easily retained his lead over Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards.

Holding a Pretty Wheel: The Wheel Files – Conspiracy Theories Alive & Well in NASCAR

Did you hear? NASCAR wants Kyle Busch to win the championship and will do anything to make sure he does. NASCAR doesn’t want Hendrick Motorsports to win another title, either. And the reason they don’t publish the rulebook or specific punishments is so they can punish based on who they want to win and who …

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Autism Speaks 400 at Dover

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 Autism Speaks 400 in Dover, Delaware Sunday.

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