With back-to-back top-10 finishes, Hamlin claims a spot on this week’s HOT list alongside JGR teammate Tony Stewart; but who else is deserving of the recognition? On the flip side, Michael McDowell had an impressive first two-thirds of the race, but received some criticism after the event for racing the leaders too hard in the closing laps. Where does the rookie fall after his debut start? Was he wrong or right? Check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup to find out.
Well folks, it’s that time of year again! It’s time to get creative and dye those Easter eggs! For all you hardcore NASCAR fans, I hope this week’s column will give you a few ideas on where to hide all those eggs that you actually put racecar numbers on. (Don’t be ashamed, everyone does it. It’s just that no one talks that much about it!) Plus, it’s a great way to familiarize all the young’uns with the current drivers and their sponsors. Going a step further, if you get those little tykes (and the grownups, too) reasoning out where they’re most likely to find, say, the No. 26 Crown Royal egg, you’re creating not only a fan, but a more intelligent fan at that!
Despite scoring his worst finish of the season, Kyle Busch holds the top spot in the Frontstretch Power Rankings for the second straight week in a row. But the high banks of Bristol wreaked havoc on the rest of the list, forcing movement up and down the line… and even leaving some surprising names on the outside looking in. So where does your favorite driver sit heading into the first off weekend of the season? Read this week’s Top 15 to find out.
As fate would have it, the same driver who raced clean and accepted a second-place finish to Kyle Busch at Bristol one year ago had the race fall into his lap when leader Denny Hamlin fell off the pace with a fuel pickup problem a lap and a half from the finish. Now armed with 20 career wins, Burton has emerged as one of the hottest drivers on the circuit, off to the same solid start that propelled him to a spot in the Chase last year. To see who is left scrounging around for eggs this Easter weekend — as well as which drivers are best positioned to compete with the streaky Burton — check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup.
Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all 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 the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
1) Can’t Get Much Simpler – Last Friday’s rainout of qualifying for the Food City 500 required NASCAR to fall back to its rulebook for determining the lineup. It’s one of the more complex plans ever created, so let’s see if we can work through it together…
As the sun set over Bristol Sunday, Dale Jarrett took off his driver’s helmet for the final time. The dimming sunlight was a fitting backdrop for a career coming to a halt; for at 51, one of the most respected drivers the NASCAR garage has ever had was ready to pass the torch of elder statesman. Halfway across the racetrack, the sun was rising on Jeff Burton in Victory Lane. At 40 years old, Burton nabbed his first Bristol win in 29 tries, tiptoeing to triumph at a track that tends to make mincemeat out of men who drive the right way. But the Virginian not only survived, he thrived; beating younger teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer to the line, Burton became the first 40-something victor here since Rusty Wallace back in 2000. What’s more, he didn’t have to lay a bumper to a single guy in the process, a strategy that spoke volumes about the way he drives. Looks like Jarrett has a place for that torch after all.
With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of skill, Clint Bowyer led 122 of 171 laps run to score the win in the rain-shortened Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol.
In what was a much smoother race weekend than the on again/off again rain debacle last weekend in California, the story in Vegas wound up with a similar ending, with Carl Edwards cementing his status as the hottest driver in the Cup Series right out of the box. But who else left Vegas with a boatload of cash and momentum? And on the flip side, who’s currently in gambling purgatory — needing good runs in the next two weeks to steer clear of the dreaded Top-35 bubble position in car owner points? To see the latest trends in Sprint Cup, as well as what to expect next Sunday in Atlanta, check out this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not.
Round three of the Cup Series will take place in the desert West as the circuit heads to Las Vegas for the UAW-Dodge 400. The reconfigured Las Vegas Motor Speedway is set to offer up some very intense racing with its variable banking. As the teams continue to figure out this new car configuration, the passing on the track becomes more and more prevalent. Hopefully fans are appreciating the fact that cars are actually making passes for the lead on the track this year. To see which drivers our experts think will make the passes that count and end up in the front or rear this weekend, read on in this week’s Picks ‘n’ Pans.