Race Weekend Central

Fanning the Flames: When the Story About the Story Becomes THE Story

Q: Why did NASCAR penalize Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Casey Mears for their actions at Phoenix? I thought NASCAR wanted emotion… isn’t that what Brian said last year? I could maybe understand a penalty if Junior spun Mears during green and caused a big wreck, but on the cool-down lap?

Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Picking the ‘Dega Drafting Lane That’s Moving Forward

The fantasy wildcard weekend that is Talladega looms on the horizon. The Big One, which happens more times than not, can take out a player’s entire fantasy team in one fell swoop – or, it could cause a player’s team to sweep into the top 10 when most of the other competition is taken out. …

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Did You Notice? Restrictor Plate 1-Hit Wonders & the New Precedent of “Probation”

Did You Notice? Just probation for Casey Mears and Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Did you really expect the sanctioning body to do anything more after their little post-race altercation at Phoenix? We already have the U.S. Army spread out in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere across the globe… there’s no need to dispatch an additional battalion to …

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Mirror Driving: Coming Clean at Roush Fenway, Cleaning Up NASCAR’s Ratings Decline & More

Continuing a recent trend, the NASCAR race at Phoenix saw an 18% drop in ratings from over a year ago despite a popular Mark Martin victory. Why?

Full Throttle: Dale Earnhardt’s Dream Now a Nightmare

In 1980, Dale Earnhardt, with his wife Teresa, formed a company named Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. Initially, the company was put together to compete in some Nationwide Series races, with the eventual goal of going Cup racing. In 1996, that goal was realized when the organization fielded the No. 14 Racing for Kids Chevrolet, driven by …

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The Yellow Stripe: 50 is the New 20 for Mark Martin

The NASCAR season is brutally long, and with 36 races across 10 months, you know that from time to time you’re going to see an absolute stinker of a race. But from the moment I clicked on the broadcast on Saturday night, I just had a feeling it was going to be a fantastic evening …

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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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