NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Holding a Pretty Wheel: 8 Great NASCAR Books You Probably Haven’t Read

With these cooler fall days and nights, sometimes curling up with a good book is just the ticket to a good time. Whether you’re a newer fan or a veteran, there are many great racing-themed books to choose from. With the possible exception of those by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, you might have missed these titles. Some racing books are better then others, and some are must-reads. Here’s my list of NASCAR books you must read, the best of the best the library has to offer.

Did You Notice? McMurray Got Screwed, Screwy Rookie Scheduling & NASCAR’s Fake Title Contenders

Did You Notice? Jamie McMurray’s crash at Dover was not just caused by Robby Gordon’s recklessness… but by missing the playoffs? Let me explain. After the regular season finale at Richmond, Roush Fenway Racing GM Robbie Reiser made a number of pit crew switches to benefit the RFR teams set to contend for the championship. “There were some members on the No. 26 car that were proven veterans,” explained Greg Biffle’s crew chief Greg Erwin at Loudon. “And both our team and the No. 99 has had some issues with one guy in particular on each squad. Reiser stepped up to the plate and decided, ‘Look, this is our best foot forward. These are what we think are our most experienced, under-the-gun-type players,’ and made the decision and allowed each of our teams to get some guys from the No. 26 car – and it’s helped. Without a doubt it’s helped.”

Thompson in Turn 5: The Critics Have Been Silent… At Least, Until Kansas

As an unabashed supporter of NASCAR’s decision to implement a playoff format that determines the Sprint Cup champion — along with its equally controversial and much-maligned implementation of the racecar formerly known as the Car of Tomorrow — I am feeling at least partially vindicated for my opinion following the last three weeks of racing. Granted, no one has approached me to concede that maybe NASCAR isn’t as bad at running a racing series as they, and many racing columnists, had been saying… and I haven’t yet gotten a call to be told that maybe the CoT isn’t the ruination of the most popular motorsports series in America.

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Camping World RV 400 at Dover

The Chase may only be 20% done, but so far, it’s been the Greg Biffle show 100% of the time. Two races and two wins have the six-year veteran on the verge of the championship lead, gunning hard to become the first driver to win the title in all three national touring series. But could the Biff’s recent streak in Victory Lane be enough to put him on the top of our Power Rankings – or would his Roush Fenway teammate Carl Edwards be the one to take control? On the flip side, Kyle Busch tumbled down the charts with his second straight mechanical problem… but which one of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates found himself slipping even further? For the answers to these questions and more, read below to find out just how much the Monster Mile made our writers change the course of our Power Rankings.

Talking NASCAR TV: ESPN Conquers Monster Mile, But Leaves Room For Improvement

Consistent television coverage complemented a great race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. ESPN not only executed much of its normal coverage well, but also added some extra tools to its telecast, providing a better race for viewers to take in. However, as we’ve seen all too often this season, the network fell short of perfection, displaying a roller coaster’s worth of scenarios that showed both how far they’ve come — and how far they still need to go.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2008 Camping World RV 400 at Dover Edition

If you rewind three weeks with me, you’ll notice the Chase for the Sprint Cup title had a discernably different look to it. After Richmond, Kyle Busch led the point standings heading into the Chase, holding a 30-point lead after flat out dominating the first 26 races. Far down the list, Greg Biffle sat ninth, 80 points back, along with four other drivers who failed to earn a win in the regular season.

Now, just two races later, Biffle is the hottest driver in the Chase so far, Busch is the coldest, and Carl Edwards continues to lead the points. But how about the other nine drivers? Who still has a chance to contend for the title, and who, like Busch, is all but eliminated from the championship picture? Check out this week’s Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: Chase Edition to find out.

Running Their Mouth: 2008 Camping World RV 400 at Dover

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 Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway.

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2008 Camping World RV 400 at Dover

4. Chicken Soup – On Saturday, NASCAR announced a new random drug testing policy beginning with the 2009 season. Beginning in January, all drivers participating in preseason testing in Daytona for the Sprint, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series will be tested — along with all racing officials and crew members planning to be at the track on a weekly basis. Thereafter, about a dozen drivers and/or crew members will be randomly selected for testing at most scheduled race events, with the process to be handled by an independent, third-party agency.

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Predicting 12 Drivers’ Chances with 9 Races to Go in the Chase

For better or worse, the Chase is now one week old, meaning one of 12 drivers will be anointed Cup champion in just nine weeks’ time. So, let’s put aside for a moment the continuing debate surrounding the validity of the format, and take a look at what each contender brings to the table — along with what liabilities dog him as we begin this unholy pilgrimage towards Homestead…

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings: Top 15 After the 2008 Sylvania 300 at Loudon

Now that the Chase is officially underway, the standings are becoming chock full of playoff contenders — and they don’t want to move much of anywhere. In fact, the first 12 drivers in this week’s rankings are all the ones eligible to win this year’s championship. However, just because the Chasers are filling the top of the charts doesn’t mean they aren’t moving around amongst themselves. Which driver came oh-so-close to landing themselves a postseason bid — but came up just short and slid out of the Frontstretch Power Rankings in the matter of just two weeks?

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