NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Grading the 2009 Sprint Cup Pack: Part 2

NASCAR’s longest and most grueling race, the Coca-Cola 600, represents a significant milestone in the 2009 season. It’s not quite the halfway point to the Chase (that comes the following week after Dover), but once the checkers fly late Sunday evening, we’re exactly one-third of the way through the 36-race schedule.

With that in mind, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at how the Sprint Cup contenders (and pretenders) have performed thus far. As you might expect here at Frontstretch, we’re going to conduct a proper two-part analysis of the season to date. Yesterday’s installment gave out some superlative awards; today, Tom Bowles and I team up to grade each team on their overall performance through the first three months of ’09. Feel free to not only read, but comment below and let us know how you feel your favorite teams and drivers have done!

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 All-Star Race at Charlotte Edition

Tony Stewart took Lowe’s Motor Speedway by storm Saturday night, as the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy smelled victory and found it in the 25th annual All-Star Race. Stewart’s first win as a driver/owner and first All-Star win came in a race that saw tepid-at-best racing in the first three segments …

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After 25 Years of All-Star Races, 1 Really Stands Out, But Not For the Racing

With the 25th running of the All-Star Race coming up Saturday night, I was supposed to write a column about memorable All-Star races… or something like that. You know, standard rundown of the big moments. But the problem with that reared its ugly head in oh, about 30 seconds. I don’t really remember any. Sure, …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Time Is Ticking For Tony Eury Jr.

Rumor and speculation continues to circulate in the NASCAR community this week that Tony Eury Jr., crew chief of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet piloted by the sport’s Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., will soon be replaced. With no credible insider connected to the rumored change atop the pit box, it seems clear …

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BSNews! Real NASCAR News That Fits the Headline Title

For the last few days, I have been hearing some “busyness” going on in the BSNews room… which happens to be adjacent to my bedroom. There was a lot of thumping and bumping, the occasional “heated exchange,” and the ever present “pphhhfffsssttt” of a beverage being opened. I just assumed that the crew was working …

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Did You Notice? Kyle Busch’s 200-Win Fantasy, Stremme’s Dream Turned Nightmare & Hendrick’s Big Choice

Did You Notice? The big hubbub this week – by far – is whether Kyle Busch can get to 200 wins throughout his Cup career in NASCAR’s top-three series. What? I’ve been under the weather with some kind of flu bug this week, so at first I thought I was being delusional when I heard …

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Full Throttle: Tony Jr., It’s Time to Let Someone Else Guide the Ship

The whole NASCAR world was turned on its ear when Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced he would be racing for Hendrick Motorsports. Everyone from his staunchest supporters to his biggest detractors all chimed in with one undeniable opinion: There would not be any more excuses. He would be in top equipment, driving for the best organization …

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Beating and Banging in the Capital of the South

With Talladega in the rear-view mirror, the Sprint Cup Series turns to the cozier confines of Richmond International Raceway and good ol’ fashioned short tracking this week. But while the Series’ last downforce race at Phoenix offered a glimpse of who you’d expect to contend in Virginia’s capital, don’t discount what happened last Sunday. With more than half of the top 12 in the standings involved in wrecks, the wild-card race at Talladega certainly managed to throw a wrench into the momentum of some contenders. The “Big One” doesn’t discriminate whenever it chooses its victims … and the hangover from those nasty crashes can last a couple of weeks if teams aren’t careful. With that in mind, who’s ready to vault towards fantasy perfection at the track many call perfect for racing? Short-tracking on a Saturday night is always cause to put a smile on race fans’ faces… and with the help of the Frontstretch Insiders, this weekend will be all the more enjoyable for you and your fantasy lineup.

Mirror Driving: Keselowski’s Sprint Cup Future, Yanking the Yellow-Line Rule & Super Bowl-Sized Issues for Daytona

Brad Keselowski won in just his fifth career Sprint Cup start at Talladega this past weekend. With Mark Martin now contemplating staying in the No. 5 – a ride many expect Keselowski to inherit – in 2010 and possibly beyond, what does Keselowski’s Cup Series future hold?

Did You Notice? Tragic NASCAR Death Reminder to Push for a Higher Standard

In four years of covering the NASCAR beat, I never “officially” met David Poole. But you don’t have to know him to understand. The word is beloved, and the year is 2006. I’m asked to speak for a documentary about the past, present, and future of NASCAR. The producer, a friend, chooses three writers to be his main analysts; David Poole and I are among the chosen few. The day he interviews Poole down in Charlotte, I get a call. “You won’t believe what happened,” he says.

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