Race Weekend Central

Voice of Vito: The Season Ahead – Martinsville Serves as NASCAR’s True Test of Legitimacy

I have always maintained that Martinsville is the true litmus test for the opening months of the NASCAR season. Daytona is the Super Bowl of motorsports, and it is easy to get caught up in the hype of the grandest race on the schedule. A win can make a season or define a career (just …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville

With their bumping and banging for the lead on Sunday, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson were able to make big gains up the Power Rankings ladder. But were they enough to push Jeff Gordon off the top spot? Meanwhile, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton were among those who took it on the chin at this …

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

The Key Moment: Jimmie Johnson ran down Denny Hamlin with 15 laps to go. He then moved the No. 11 car aside, with both cars getting sideways and smoking the tires before Johnson pulled ahead to take the lead. In a Nutshell: There’s nothing so wrong with the new NASCAR racing the sport’s oldest racetrack …

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5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Edition

Mr. Martinsville Nobody can accuse Jimmie Johnson of being too boring or too perfect anymore. The man dubbed “Mr. Martinsville” by teammate Jeff Gordon drove deep into turn 1 with 16 laps to go and body-slammed Denny Hamlin for the lead and eventual win Sunday. The pass was not perfect, a little daring, and showed …

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: For Dale Earnhardt Jr., Does Fun Trump Having It All?

At the top level of NASCAR, there are so many factors to consider every week. There are sponsors to please, fans to appease, and an owner to answer to. Your job is to try to win races and ultimately the championship. And that’s not just at the top. Don’t think for a second that that …

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Happy Hour: Travis Kvapil’s Situation is Sad – But It’s Reality

It’s a bummer to watch Travis Kvapil be out of a ride because of the harsh realities of motorsports. As I write this, and as Tom Bowles explained so lucidly on Monday, a freak combination of owner points transfers and bad luck has resulted in Yates suspending operations of its famed No. 28 shop indefinitely. …

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Did You Notice? Earnhardt’s Free Pass, Busch’s Less Than Intimidating Nature & Mourning NASCAR’s Past

Did You Notice? Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s been getting rather “lucky” these days? Just 19th in points after five races, so much talk has centered around the No. 88 team struggling to get it together. Some feel like they’ve turned the corner towards respectability in recent weeks, but I’m not so sure. Just check out this …

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Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2009 Food City 500 at Bristol

The fastest half-mile in the world at Bristol battered many of Cup’s top contenders and spit them out. Bad luck struck more than one competitor, most notably Greg Biffle, causing mechanical problems which dropped him out of the top 15 in our Power Rankings. But every driver’s pain is someone else’s gain, and when the …

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The Yellow Stripe: Taking It to the Next Level, Which of These 10 Drivers Will Win a NASCAR Cup Championship?

The label of future Sprint Cup champion is liberally dispensed – but rarely achieved. In the 60 years of NASCAR competition, only 28 drivers have attained the hallowed crown – and it’s a pretty exclusive club. 12 drivers have won a solitary championship, while another eight have won two titles. Five men – Jimmie Johnson, …

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