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 TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson got an excellent jump on that final green-white-checkered restart and kept Dale Earnhardt Jr. off his rear bumper.
Martinsville Speedway isn’t for candy-ass drivers or spectators. And that’s the best thing about the joint. Like Fenway Park, one doesn’t go to Martinsville Speedway expecting the comforts and “amenities” of modern-day event facilities. Racing fans in southwest Virginia don’t go to races to sip lattes and possibly meet celebrities. No one goes to the …
Five weeks ago, many pundits — this humble scribe included — boldly predicted the Chase was a two-man battle between Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. I am hopeful that at the time I picked Jimmie Johnson as a potential spoiler — at least that would make me look less like a moron than I currently feel. But like those disclaimers on mutual funds proclaim in small print, “past performance does not guarantee future results.” So, here at the halfway point let’s take a look at the 12 Chasers and how they’re faring, with the above disclaimer still in play:
10. “It was great to see the front and sniff a little bit of the lead of the race with 25 [laps] to go.” – Kurt Busch
The Chase has reached its halfway point, and for all intents and purposes, we’re down to a three-man race for the title. It’s just not the three men you would have expected after Richmond in September. While Jimmie Johnson remains a major player amongst the Top 15, it’s Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle replacing Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch on the precipice of championship contention. Just how much did Busch and Edwards’ recent mistakes cost them in our Frontstretch rankings? You’ll have to read below to find out just how far they’ve fallen.
This week’s race was a crucial one for a number of teams who ran into problems last week at Talladega. One of those contenders – the No. 99 of Carl Edwards – saw similar luck this weekend, when electrical issues forced him to lose a number of laps en route to a 33rd-place finish. But Edwards was not the only Chaser to follow up a bad day at Talladega with a poor finish at Lowe’s. To see who else needs a good run this weekend at Martinsville and who is ready to battle Jimmie Johnson for the title, check out this week’s summary of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not, Chase Edition.
The Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte did not produce many exciting storylines besides the weekly plight of the Chasers. ESPN reported on the state of these drivers well, however, and also made a move in the race’s first half that went above and beyond that coverage. As stated many times in this column and others like it, ESPN, TNT and FOX each have struggled to cover both the racing action and those that exist outside the top 10 in the running order – unless the driver is one of NASCAR’s biggest stars. Well, ESPN finally responded to those numerous complaints with a segment that addresses the problem.
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 Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
10. Under The Radar – Running amongst the leaders from the drop of the green, Jeff Burton, the veteran Richard Childress Racing racer, won the Bank of America 500 to score his second win of the season. A “splash-and-go” pit stop put Burton in the lead that he never relinquished, even after a dicey battle with points leader Jimmie Johnson. Burton has now moved into second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings and only 69 points out of first with five races remaining. Could it be that after all the hoopla, the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion might be a guy that virtually no one bet on, has not had a physical altercation with anyone this year, is universally respected by fans and peers, rarely criticizes other drivers…and is never jeered by race fans?