Race Weekend Central

Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Phoenix Spring Race Recap

The Key Moment: Mark Martin was able to quickly dispatch Ryan Newman on the race’s final restart, and Tony Stewart never generated the steam to catch him. In a Nutshell: Martin’s victory is a feel good story, but it doesn’t hide the fact Phoenix wasn’t much of a race. Dramatic Moment: With passing so hard …

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Bowles-Eye View: Mark Martin’s Rise Leaves Dale Earnhardt Jr. Flat on His Face

This is a story about two men’s historic rise and fall from grace. As Mark Martin took the checkered flag Saturday night, the desert night lit up with thousands of smiling faces. Sentimentality was in the air again at Phoenix International Raceway, a mere two minutes after a 50-year-old won his first race since ‘05 …

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5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix Edition

Good finish For all the talk of anti-climactic races this season, NASCAR was fortunate to have an exciting finish this weekend at Phoenix. Sure, there were long green-flag runs throughout the race, and clean air provided such an advantage that Dale Earnhardt Jr. couldn’t compete without it – but there were several moments that made …

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Fanning the Flames: NASCAR Fans Throwing More TLC at TRG

Did you enjoy your off week? I hope so, because by my math we’ve got 13 straight weekends on tap starting with Phoenix Saturday night. Again, I sometimes wonder if a monkey and some ping pong balls are the driving force behind this jacked up schedule. However… I’m not here to bring you all down …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Jeff Gordon a Legend Amongst Us

Jeff Gordon’s win at Texas Motor Speedway was, without question, a long anticipated victory for the four-time NASCAR champion. The career wins leader amongst active drivers had not visited victory lane in the prior 47 non-exhibition races dating back to Oct. 2007. The winless streak was not in keeping with Gordon’s prolific career statistics that …

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Thompson in Turn 5: Old Controversies, the No. 8 & Aric Almirola are Shelved

On Wednesday, it was reported that the No. 8 Chevrolet team of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will be scuttled immediately, removing themselves off the entry list for the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway next Saturday night. And with the news everyone has expected for days now becoming official, two separate issues that had …

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Voice of Vito: Taking 1 for the Team, Earnhardt Jr. & Martin Getting Gordon & Johnson’s Leftovers?

With the Sprint Cup Series off this week, you might expect some of the senior writers of this staff or other publications would be absent as well. But that is not the case with me. Although I was sidetracked by a brief hiatus, the reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I’m back…. Having …

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Happy Hour: Once & for All, the Reason Dale Earnhardt Jr. Isn’t Winning

Last week, the bubbling cauldron that is the motorsports media began to boil over once again, reaching a point where Dale Earnhardt Jr. publicly asserted that his crew chief Tony Eury Jr. is a capable mechanic and even that he himself would be willing to take some of the blame for his failure to run …

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Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Ramblin’ Man on Dale Earnhardt Jr., Digger & Qualifying

Here are some brief thoughts on a variety of NASCAR topics while waiting for fickle spring to make its long overdue arrival… Qualifying When the Rain is Flying – The record books will show that Jeff Gordon earned the pole at Martinsville this weekend. But he did so without having to turn a lap in …

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